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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: virginia.txt

Virginia Computer Crime Law





                                CODE OF VIRGINIA
       Copyright (c) 1949-1990 by The Michie Company, All rights reserved.
                   TITLE 18.2. CRIMES AND OFFENSES GENERALLY.
                       CHAPTER 5. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
                          ARTICLE 7.1. COMPUTER CRIMES.

 s 18.2-152.1. Short title.

   This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Virginia COMPUTER CRIMES
 Act."

   (1984, c. 751.)


 s 18.2-152.1. Short title.

   This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Virginia COMPUTER CRIMES
 Act."

   (1984, c. 751.)


 s 18.2-152.2. Definitions.

   For purposes of this article:
   "COMPUTER" means an electronic, magnetic, optical, hydraulic or organic
 device or group of devices which, pursuant to a COMPUTER program, to human
 instruction, or to permanent instructions contained in the device or group of
 devices, can automatically perform COMPUTER operations with or on COMPUTER data
 and can communicate the results to another COMPUTER or to a person. The term
 "COMPUTER" includes any connected or directly related device, equipment, or
 facility which enables the COMPUTER to store, retrieve or communicate COMPUTER
 programs, COMPUTER data or the results of COMPUTER operations to or from a
 person, another COMPUTER or another device.
   "COMPUTER data" means any representation of information, knowledge, facts,
 concepts, or instructions which is being prepared or has been prepared and is
 intended to be processed, is being processed, or has been processed in a
 COMPUTER or COMPUTER network. "COMPUTER data" may be in any form, whether
 readable only by a COMPUTER or only by a human or by either, including, but not
 limited to, COMPUTER printouts, magnetic storage media, punched cards, or
 stored internally in the memory of the COMPUTER.
   "COMPUTER network" means a set of related, remotely connected devices and any
 communications facilities including more than one COMPUTER with the capability
 to transmit data among them through the communications facilities.
   "COMPUTER operation" means arithmetic, logical, monitoring, storage or
 retrieval functions and any combination thereof, and includes, but is not
 limited to, communication with, storage of data to, or retrieval of data from
 any device or human hand manipulation of electronic or magnetic impulses. A
 "COMPUTER operation" for a particular COMPUTER may also be any function for
 which that COMPUTER was generally designed.
   "COMPUTER program" means an ordered set of data representing coded
 instructions or statements that, when executed by a COMPUTER, causes the
 COMPUTER to perform one or more COMPUTER operations.
   "COMPUTER services" includes COMPUTER time or services or data processing
 services or information or data stored in connection therewith.
   "COMPUTER software" means a set of COMPUTER programs, procedures and
 associated documentation concerned with COMPUTER data or with the operation of
 a COMPUTER, COMPUTER program, or COMPUTER network.
   "Financial instrument" includes, but is not limited to, any check, draft,
 warrant, money order, note, certificate of deposit, letter of credit, bill of
 exchange, credit or debit card, transaction authorization mechanism, marketable
 security, or any computerized representation thereof.
   "Owner" means an owner or lessee of a COMPUTER or a COMPUTER network or an
 owner, lessee, or licensee of COMPUTER data, COMPUTER programs, or COMPUTER
 software.
   "Person" shall include any individual, partnership, association, corporation
 or joint venture.
   "Property" shall include:
   1. Real property;
   2. COMPUTERS and COMPUTER networks;
   3. Financial instruments, COMPUTER data, COMPUTER programs, COMPUTER software
 and all other personal property regardless of whether they are:
   a. Tangible or intangible;
   b. In a format readable by humans or by a COMPUTER;
   c. In transit between COMPUTERS or within a COMPUTER network or between any
 devices which comprise a COMPUTER; or
   d. Located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a COMPUTER
 or by a human; and
   4. COMPUTER services.
   A person "uses" a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network when he:
   1. Attempts to cause or causes a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network to perform or
 to stop performing COMPUTER operations;
   2. Attempts to cause or causes the withholding or denial of the use of a
 COMPUTER, COMPUTER network, COMPUTER program, COMPUTER data or COMPUTER
 software to another user; or
   3. Attempts to cause or causes another person to put false information into a
 COMPUTER.
   A person is "without authority" when he has no right or permission of the
 owner to use a COMPUTER, or, he uses a COMPUTER in a manner exceeding such
 right or permission.

   (1984, c. 751.)


 s 18.2-152.3. COMPUTER fraud.

   Any person who uses a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network without authority and with
 the intent to:
   1. Obtain property or services by false pretenses;
   2. Embezzle or commit larceny; or
   3. Convert the property of another shall be guilty of the CRIME of COMPUTER
 fraud. If the value of the property or services obtained is $200 or more, the
 CRIME of COMPUTER fraud shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Where the
 value of the property or services obtained is less than $200, the CRIME of
 COMPUTER fraud shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 322.)

 s 18.2-152.4. COMPUTER trespass; penalty.

   Any person who uses a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network without authority and with
 the intent to:
   1. Temporarily or permanently remove COMPUTER data, COMPUTER programs, or
 COMPUTER software from a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network;
   2. Cause a COMPUTER to malfunction regardless of how long the malfunction
 persists;
   3. Alter or erase any COMPUTER data, COMPUTER programs, or COMPUTER software;
   4. Effect the creation or alteration of a financial instrument or of an
 electronic transfer of funds;
   5. Cause physical injury to the property of another; or
   6. Make or cause to be made an unauthorized copy, in any form, including, but
 not limited to, any printed or electronic form of COMPUTER data, COMPUTER
 programs, or COMPUTER software residing in, communicated by, or produced by a
 COMPUTER or COMPUTER network shall be guilty of the CRIME of COMPUTER trespass,
 which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If such act is done
 maliciously and the value of the property damaged is $2,500 or more, the
 offense shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 322; 1990, c. 663.)


 s 18.2-152.5. COMPUTER invasion of privacy.

   A. A person is guilty of the CRIME of COMPUTER invasion of privacy when he
 uses a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network and intentionally examines without
 authority any employment, salary, credit or any other financial or personal
 information relating to any other person. "Examination" under this section
 requires the offender to review the information relating to any other person
 after the time at which the offender knows or should know that he is without
 authority to view the information displayed.
   B. The CRIME of COMPUTER invasion of privacy shall be punishable as a Class 3
 misdemeanor.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 398.)

 s 18.2-152.6. Theft of COMPUTER services.

   Any person who willfully uses a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network, with intent to
 obtain COMPUTER services without authority, shall be guilty of the CRIME of
 theft of COMPUTER services, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 322.)


 s 18.2-152.7. Personal trespass by COMPUTER.

   A. A person is guilty of the CRIME of personal trespass by COMPUTER when he
 uses a COMPUTER or COMPUTER network without authority and with the intent to
 cause physical injury to an individual.
   B. If committed maliciously, the CRIME of personal trespass by COMPUTER shall
 be punishable as a Class 3 felony. If such act be done unlawfully but not
 maliciously, the CRIME of personal trespass by COMPUTER shall be punishable as
 a Class 1 misdemeanor.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 322.)

 s 18.2-152.8. Property capable of embezzlement.

   For purposes of s 18.2-111, personal property subject to embezzlement shall
 include:
   1. COMPUTERS and COMPUTER networks;
   2. Financial instruments, COMPUTER data, COMPUTER programs, COMPUTER software
 and all other personal property regardless of whether they are:
   a. Tangible or intangible;
   b. In a format readable by humans or by a COMPUTER;
   c. In transit between COMPUTERS or within a COMPUTER network or between any
 devices which comprise a COMPUTER; or
   d. Located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a COMPUTER
 or by a human; and

   3. COMPUTER services.

   (1984, c. 751.)


 s 18.2-152.9. Limitation of prosecution.

   Notwithstanding the provisions of s 19.2-8, prosecution of a CRIME which is
 punishable as a misdemeanor pursuant to this article must be commenced before
 the earlier of (i) five years after the commission of the last act in the
 course of conduct constituting a violation of this article or (ii) one year
 after the existence of the illegal act and the identity of the offender are
 discovered by the Commonwealth, by the owner, or by anyone else who is damaged
 by such violation.

   (1984, c. 751.)


 s 18.2-152.10. Venue for prosecution.

   For the purpose of venue under this article, any violation of this article
 shall be considered to have been committed in any county or city:
   1. In which any act was performed in furtherance of any course of conduct
 which violated this article;
   2. In which the owner has his principal place of business in the
 Commonwealth;
   3. In which any offender had control or possession of any proceeds of the
 violation or of any books, records, documents, property, financial instrument,
 COMPUTER software, COMPUTER program, COMPUTER data, or other material or
 objects which were used in furtherance of the violation;
   4. From which, to which, or through which any access to a COMPUTER or
 COMPUTER network was made whether by wires, electromagnetic waves, microwaves,
 or any other means of communication;
   5. In which the offender resides; or
   6. In which any COMPUTER which is an object or an instrument of the violation
 is located at the time of the alleged offense.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 322.)


 s 18.2-152.11. Article not exclusive.

   The provisions of this article shall not be construed to preclude the
 applicability of any other provision of the criminal law of this Commonwealth
 which presently applies or may in the future apply to any transaction or course
 of conduct which violates this article, unless such provision is clearly
 inconsistent with the terms of this article.

   (1984, c. 751.)


 s 18.2-152.12. Civil relief; damages.

   A. Any person whose property or person is injured by reason of a violation of
 any provision of this article may sue therefor and recover for any damages
 sustained, and the costs of suit. Without limiting the generality of the term,
 "damages" shall include loss of profits.
   B. At the request of any party to an action brought pursuant to this section,
 the court may, in its discretion, conduct all legal proceedings in such a way
 as to protect the secrecy and security of the COMPUTER, COMPUTER network,
 COMPUTER data, COMPUTER program and COMPUTER software involved in order to
 prevent possible recurrence of the same or a similar act by another person and
 to protect any trade secrets of any party.
   C. The provisions of this article shall not be construed to limit any
 person's right to pursue any additional civil remedy otherwise allowed by law.
   D. A civil action under this section must be commenced before expiration of
 the time period prescribed in s 8.01-40.1.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 92.)


 s 18.2-152.13. Severability.

   If any provision or clause of this article or application thereof to any
 person or circumstances is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect
 other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect
 without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of
 this article are declared to be severable.


 s 18.2-152.14. COMPUTER as instrument of forgery.

   The creation, alteration, or deletion of any COMPUTER data contained in any
 COMPUTER or COMPUTER network, which if done on a tangible document or
 instrument would constitute forgery under Article 1 (s 18.2-168 et seq.) of
 Chapter 6 of this Title, will also be deemed to be forgery. The absence of a
 tangible writing directly created or altered by the offender shall not be a
 defense to any CRIME set forth in Article 1 (s 18.2-168 et seq.) of Chapter 6
 of this Title if a creation, alteration, or deletion of COMPUTER data was
 involved in lieu of a tangible document or instrument.

   (1984, c. 751; 1985, c. 322.)




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