Computer Crime Research Center


Anti-hacker law

Date: May 25, 2007

On Wednesday the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Bundestag (the lower chamber of Germany's Federal Parliament) approved without any changes the controversial government bill designed to improve criminal prosecution of computer crimes. Only the Left Party voted against the bill. The parliamentarians will seek to take into account in a supplemental declaration the manifold reservations about the bill expressed by scientists and representatives of IT companies, aired most recently during a hearing at the Bundestag in March. In it the politicians will among other things make it clear that the new and newly opened up so-called "anti-hacker paragraphs" in Germany's Penal Code (StGB) are subject to strict construction and application.

The new Paragraph 202a StGB will for example make the unauthorized accessing of especially secured data that requires the disabling or circumventing of security measures a punishable offense. Hitherto only computer sabotage involving attacks on enterprises, companies or public authorities was a punishable offense in legal terms. Paragraph 303b StGB will extend this kind of legal protection to private data processing. In addition Paragraph 202b StGB will make the "deliberate acquisition of data by tapping into a non-public transmission of data or by way of reading radiation leaked by a data processing system" a crime.
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