Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Unauthorized Use of Computer

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Legislation[edit]

Unauthorized use of computer
342.1 (1) Every one who, fraudulently and without colour of right,

(a) obtains, directly or indirectly, any computer service,
(b) by means of an electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, intercepts or causes to be intercepted, directly or indirectly, any function of a computer system,
(c) uses or causes to be used, directly or indirectly, a computer system with intent to commit an offence under paragraph (a) or (b) or an offence under section 430 in relation to data or a computer system, or
(d) uses, possesses, traffics in or permits another person to have access to a computer password that would enable a person to commit an offence under paragraph (a), (b) or (c)

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


CCC

Proof of Offence[edit]

s. 342.1(1)(a)[edit]

Elements:[1]

  1. to obtain, directly or indirectly, any computer service
  2. in a manner that is fraudulent and without colour of right.

s. 342.1(1)(c)[edit]

  1. to use, or cause to be used, directly or indirectly, a computer system;
  2. in a manner that is fraudulent and without colour of right;
  3. with the intent to commit the offence created by s. 342.1(1)(a) or s. 342.1(1)(b) or s. 430.

Interpretation[edit]

The Crown must prove that the accused acted "without colour of right" and must be acting dishonestly and in bad faith.[2]


  1. R. v. Alexander, 2006 CanLII 26480 (ON SC)
  2. R v Parent, 2010 QCCQ 82 -- accused used CPIC account to get licence plate info which ended up in hands of criminals.

Definitions[edit]

342.1

...

“computer program” means data representing instructions or statements that, when executed in a computer system, causes the computer system to perform a function;

...

“computer service” includes data processing and the storage or retrieval of data;

...

“computer system” means a device that, or a group of interconnected or related devices one or more of which,

(a) contains computer programs or other data, and
(b) pursuant to computer programs,
(i) performs logic and control, and
(ii) may perform any other function;

...

“data” means representations of information or of concepts that are being prepared or have been prepared in a form suitable for use in a computer system;

...

“electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device” means any device or apparatus that is used or is capable of being used to intercept any function of a computer system, but does not include a hearing aid used to correct subnormal hearing of the user to not better than normal hearing;

...

“function” includes logic, control, arithmetic, deletion, storage and retrieval and communication or telecommunication to, from or within a computer system;

...

R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 45; 1997, c. 18, s. 18.

[http://canlii.ca/t/7vf2#sec

A computer system includes the switches which transfer text messages between cell phones.[1]

  1. Woodward, 2011 ONCA 610 - required expert testimony

Digests[edit]

  • R. v. Alexander, 2006 CanLII 26480 (ON SC) - accused stole credit cards from the mail and used for making unauthorized queries to the card owner's accounts.