Legal issues

Computer use has brought new concerns and new crimes. With the rise of the internet, computers are increasingly being used for illegal activities.

Computers might be used unlawfully in many ways, for example:

  • allowing someone to illegally share personal data
  • helping to steal financial information, such as credit card numbers or bank account details
  • helping to illegally copy and distribute films, television programmes and music
  • extorting information or blackmailing someone
Ways in which computers can be unlawfully used including sharing personal data, stealing financial information, copying and distributing copyrighted material, and blackmail

The internet allows people to commit crimes remotely. For example, a hacker could gain access to a computer on the other side of the world.

To help protect people, their data and their work, several laws have been introduced in the UK:

New technologies bring new crimes. Legislation is needed to cover new technologies and protect the public.