Computer hacking

In Queensland, computer hacking and misuse has a very broad definition. Any person who "uses a restricted computer without permission" may have committed the offence of computer hacking. This means that many simple behaviours, such as an employee looking at unauthorised files on a work computer, are captured by the computer hacking provisions.

The penalties for computer hacking vary depending on the seriousness of the conduct and the level of detriment or damage. It is a circumstance of aggravation if the computer hacking caused a financial detriment or loss of $5,000 or more.

Many people work in a range of professions where using a restricted computer is an ordinary part of the job, such as nurses, police officers, paramedics and teachers. There are cases where people have faced criminal charges for looking up unauthorised or private information on a work computer.

Getting early legal advice is often critical to securing the best outcome in the circumstances. Sometimes, we need to engage early with forensic technology experts. In addition to the criminal law, there may also be employment consequences if you breach the terms of use of a work computer. We operate at the cutting edge of law and technology practice and will ensure that you get the right advice.

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