Computer Law

Table of contents



Computer crimes are increasing day by day all over the world, internet is the prime medium for commit the crime both domestic and international activities. Criminals are targeted by using electronic tools like computer and other programmable devices. Computer Crime could affect any electronic device vulnerable attacks through the network which may be personal computer or protected computers. Today’s nature of the computer and internet mean that the criminal activities easily can carry out across the nation border. These kinds of crimes create problem over the jurisdiction and investigating the crime, different countries using different low and enforcement for the relevant crimes took place over the country. Older computer crimes was conducted using computer as tool such as illegally store images in the hard disk using mobile phone for harassment, download music, videos illicitly, software piracy, forgery and fraud these kind of computer crimes prosecute other relevant laws rather than computer law.

New type of cyber-crime is very different than older, now the attackers are using specific technologies or programmes which may be virus, malware, Trojan, worms and spyware; these programmes are very dangerous, effective and accurate to commit cyber-crimes. Attacks are now common against financial companies, banks and identity theft; some electronic attacks are using terrorist attack to the targeted computer and network through remotely. Unauthorised access, delete or modify the stored data in the computer system; these activities are prosecuted under computer crime legislation. According to the British Crime Survey showed that most of the computers are affected by virus in the house hold using internet in the U.K about 62 % in 2006 because of increase of the computers and broad band connection.

Computer related activities are very complex to be prosecuted; law makers and the security consultants frustrated these kinds of activities are very difficult to legislate without affecting others. The legislation authority of UK recently clamping down on computer crime fell under some sort of trap; such kind of trap can avoid providing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 which provision provides massive surveillances in the computer networks and the users.

The news of the world phone hacking has been investigating since 2005, this case is very popular and on-going case; and here some suspicious people include news of the world Chief editors, reports, investigator, celebrities and politician. According to some popular newspaper report; I would like to explain this case, who all are the suspicious and guilty person in this case and which laws they are broken.

2. Judicial Process in U.K

European communities include England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in this judiciary system has three courts of jurisdiction system arranged according to the cases which brought before the U.K has two main type of judiciary system.[9]

The European laws from the European Union, the legal system in the UK largely based on the judge here judge will made law and decide the cases and this cases brought before the judge this process is until 17th century this system is called common law or case law. But the Scotland totally dissimilar form this jurisdiction process at that time there has been a new law implemented the Act of Parliament that was policies of Government of the day. At that time a judge made law according to the case and the public need to follow this law this pronouncement technically known as precedent. The precedent plays very significant role in the common law this ensure logical progress, certainty, consistency and law development.[9]

Legislation or statutory new law act in the parliament has become common, it reform in the 17th century; the modern time laws applied in the jurisdiction at any combination of jurisdiction in the U.K. but the common law has limited jurisdiction in the public general act. it may limited geographical location in the jurisdiction for a person and organisation. The most significant Act in the legislation in the parliament known as Primary legislation this primary legislation made by the parliament act 1911 -1949 in the House of Lords and then it accepted by the Royal assent from the Queen. This legislation is laid under Government Ministers and it come today’s greater volume.[9]

The category of criminal law considers with Most of the criminal cases in the England and Wales called prosecutions. The Court prosecution on the basis of indictment document, here most of the case prosecution instituted by prosecutor on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, the case takes over form the police the specified crime accused with whom in the state. The first stage of the case answer is called prime face and this process is called committal. In this document magistrate disclose some papers which are based on the evidence submitted by the prosecutor, these cases have heard in the Crown court. Crown Court only one but there nearly 70 jurisdiction centres in this country. [9]

The litigation process before the judge and the jury they preside over the whole trail prosecution the judge and the jury justify the fairness about the case at the same time the prosecutors need to submit all the evidences these evidences admissible by jury at this time the jury give the accurate view and relevant law to this case. Finally, the jury decide who will be the culprit and who will be the innocent. [9]

Magistrates’ court deal with fewer amounts of criminal cases, there is no committal and jury for jurisdiction. Here trial bench has three magistrates deal with the cases are lay person. Magistrates court appeal to the Crown Court some criminal cases such most criminal cases taken to the divisional court in the High Court. Finally, these matters may be appeal to the House of Lords. [9]

The civil cases trial is begun by a plaintiff, the plaintiff; it may be a company or a person or government. Most of the civil cases deal with the country court typically claim cases choice of the value of the property for claim a person; in addition, the country court also deal with divorce cases and bankruptcy cases. Moreover, the claim cases has limitation up to ?3000 could be handled by the country court. [9]

The High Court has three sub division to deal cases, Family Division, Chancery Division and Queen’s Bench Division [9]

Family Division usually considers family matters like divorce cases and child welfare cases, child protection is the aim of this court, and sometimes they brought child to some agencies for the protection of the child. The High court has some difficulty to do divorce cases so country court deal with these matters, the family division has deal with the overseas cases like administration of wills process known as probate. [9]

The Chancery Division deal with difficult matters like bankruptcy, copyright and patent, settlement, land law, trust and corporate laws. Most of the cases consider in the subdivision of this court which division is highly skilled specialists deal with this cases. [9]

The Queen’s Bench division consider business cases about land and contracts torts , in this division has some specialised sub division al so commercial court in this court consider most difficult cases in the part of the business torts. [9]

The European community was developed under the Treaty of Rome in the year of 1957, the judges could be appointed by 15 member stated of the court called Luxembourg in this sits comprised one British Judge. English legal system made the Court in the European Community Act 1972 section three in this states. [9]

The Interference could raise Treaty of Rome under article 177; firstly, the jurisdiction give introductory decision would be taken by the justice in this court for the interpretation from the Treaty of Rome. The tribunal may be questioned before the tribunal’s member of the state the court of justice ruling the any civil cases and criminal matters in the U.K courts can ask any judgment points about the dispute the court will give necessary decision as soon as possible, the court of justice is peak court in this nation. [9]

The Scotland follows own legal system based on Edinburgh of the court the Act Union of England and Wales in 1707, Scotland holds so many law system form English.

1) Adversarial

Adversarial judicial System, which legal system the two advocates would be represent for the suspected and petitioned parties, in this system there usually have a jury or judge for decide whether the accused person is guilty or not.

2) Inquisitorial

Inquisitorial legal system totally opposite to the adversarial legal system, here the court would investigate the case, this legal system some countries use only for civil cases and they use common laws.

3. European Law

English law falls in to Criminal Law and Civil Law, offence related to person and the property and affecting the whole community is under the criminal law and it is called prosecution this law is applicable for computer related crimes. The wrong relating confliction between individuals with in the community which action for claim the case is under the civil case.

Most Effective Computer Laws in U.K/European Union [10]

Computer Misuse Act 1990
Police and Justice Act 2006
Telecommunication regulations 2000
Communications Act 2003
Human rights Act 1998
Privacy and electronic communication regulations 2003
European Laws
Data Protection Act 1998
Anti-Terrorism, crime and security Act 2001
Regulation of investigatory powers Act 2000
Wiretap Act
Pen / Trap Act
Electronic Communication Privacy Act

4. Presenting Digital Evidence in the Court

The Digital Evidences such as floppy disk, USB, CD, an Image, log files, MAC time, which evidences supports the claim or that rejects the claim. The evidences are significant and need to maintain integrity and confidentiality is very important. The integrity means that the digital evidence has been not tampered and the confidentiality means that make sure the process or the content of the evidence must not view unauthorised person but only the authorised person. For integrity maintaining need to create MD5 or SHA-1 check sum value using lawful authority approved tools.

The collecting evidence and making report is very important this process is called Chain of Custody, to prove the case need to prepare detailed report and to make sure that the evidence handled step should be follow.

What is the evidence
How did you get it
When was it collected
Who has handled it
Why did that person handle it
Where has it travelled, and where was it ultimately stored

When the evidence is electronic form it becomes two dimensional types of objects tangible and intangible this need to be preserved and tracked in the chain of custody. The physical evidence is called tangible objects such as laptop, hard drives, CD’s, backup tapes, digital cameras. Intangible data like documents, email and metadata. Authentication of the digital evidence is significant and the evidence is multi faced and it must be verified the digital authenticity of the digital evidence. For the integrity need to use digital signature technology which can maintain the evidence integrity.

5. Case Scenario

The News of the World (NoW) phone voice message hacking case is on-going case in the UK, the News of the World case was complained on November 2005 against the three royal staffs’ members, after reporting the story about Price William’s phone voicemail interception, and this case was registered at the Metropolitan Police on November 2005. The accused Clive Goodman was the royal editor Edmondson was the assistant editor of the NoW and Glenn Mulcaire is a private investigator. Goodman was jailed four months and Glen Mulcaire was jailed six months in January 2007. The NoW current executives and the current chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck 50 and former new editor Lan Edmonson 42 ware arrested suspiciously by the Metropolitan Police in April for illegally intercepted private telephone conversation, this unlawful offence under section 1 of the RIPA 2000(Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) and Criminal law Act 1977 Section 1 (1) has been charged the police. They were released on bail in September. After two and half years latter one of the famous newspapers in the UK claimed that the world-famous phone mailbox hacking case has involved NoW journalists and politician, sports stars, celebrities.[2,4,11]

In July 2009, some newspapers reported that Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott,singer George Michael, celebrity cook Celebrity Nigella Lawson, London Mayor Boris John, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Comedian Lennny Henry, Late reality TV start Jade Goody and Coulson also includes in the phone hacking list; a chief executive of professional football’s association Gordon Taylor, Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes, sports agent Sky Andrew and Model Elle Macpherson had been victims.[3]

In July 9th 2009 The News of the World apologised in the court actress sienna Miller was not committed this crime and the NoW she was not attend the prosecution and high court settled for this case ?100,000 legal cost ant damages.[13]

September 2009, the owner of the News Group Newspaper paid ?1 million for settle the case three subjected people in this phone hacking case such as professional footballers Association Chairman Gordon Taylor, who had been settled this case out of the court said the Guardian newspaper report and they had this evidence, which evidence exposed that of illegal activities and they published that the NoW staffs were used around 1000 of mobile phone. This year the Scotland Yard claimed that they identified the suspected victims they are royal, military, police and government bodies. After a few days the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) said that about the phone hacking allegation they have not get any Evidence so this case is going on.[3]

In February 2010, there was a report in the newspaper The Guardian; the 3 mobile phone company revealed that nearly 100 of customers have had hacked answer phone messages. And Police had found that around 91 PIN codes in their investigation, these PIN Codes they had been used for accessing voice mail to some others these information collected form the Clive Goodman and Glen the March 2010, Max Clifford intercepting the voice mail case was found the settlement details about ?1 million payment was done by News of the World, this case found that Clive Goodman had had involved another phone hacking case. After that the New York Times published in September 2010 the NoW journalist attempted to hack one of the television personality’s voice message. Then in December 2010, Crown Prosecution Service judged according to the Scotland Yard Police Inquiry report, they have not found any admissible new evidence whether they hacked the phone or not.[2]

In January 2011, Lan Edmonson was suspended form the NoW after claiming phone hacking, one of the 91 victims, the Actress Sienna Miller have had relationship with Mr Jude Law from 2003 – 2005.Mr Justice Vos notice that Sianna Miller was appeared in some article in News of the Word from 2003 -05 year this may be consider she might have involved in this phone hacking case.[4]

In 10th April 2011, the News of the world apologised the phone hacking case they are ready to pay compensation to those individual has been accused in this phone hacking case, this news was published in News of the World newspaper.[7]

6. Laws Broken by Accused

According to the BBC news these accused persons were committed unlawful interception of public communication under the UK law RIPA 2000(Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) of Section and the unauthorised access computer and gaining any stored data from the hard disk / voice messages from the computer against the UK law Computer Misuse Act 1990 section 1 (1) have been violated these proposed guilty people in the News of the World Phone Hacking case 2005 -2011.

7. The phone hacking case happened in the UK

“ Morgans v Director case

This case was in December 1998 to 2000; Morgan was hacked British Telephone computer Monolog telephone call logger for making some international calls. This case the prosecutor charged CMA 1990 section 1 (1) and Section 11 (2), But this case was quashed.” [6]

“R v Moody case

In this case ex-employee of the IT specialist he accessed remote maintenance port in the local authorities computerised telephone, he could not made any outgoing calls but he routed incoming calls to single extension. The police sized his pc and hard disk which has been corrupted by previous police investigation, so the court had stayed indictment.

He was violated CMA 1990 section 3 and Admissibility Pace section 69s” [6]

“R v Malcolm Farquharson case

In this case was happened in 1993, the accused person was committed mobile phone cloning, the accused person convicted unauthorised access he had been sentences nearly six month imprisonment.” [6]

“R v Emma Pearce case

This case was registerd 1993, this case also phone cloning he accessed telephone records so the court sentenced ?300 fine only.” [6]

“Gold and Schifreen

In 1985, two journalists were hacked British Telecom computer and they were accessed prince Philip’s voice mail box at that time for the investigation proved that these two people were committed activity but there was no computer misuse act to punish them. At that time they created a new law computer misuse act in 1990.” [6]

8. Conclusion

According to the BBC news and other popular Newspaper report claimed that, the News of the World chief editor, reporter and private investigator was committed this phone hacking case the police has some evidence against them according to this evidence the Court had imprisoned these three people in 2006 around 6 months, after one year this case was reopened by Met police UK; but the police investigation is going on and they yet to be find any solid evidence against them and rest of the 3000 suspicious person, during this investigation 10th April 2011 the news of the world apologised to all accused suspected people and they are willing to give compensation to all this people. Even though they withdraw the case it is crystal clear that some of the NoW staffs were involved and committed this case. In my point of view these suspicious persons violated UK laws above mentioned, but this case was withdrawn why because of the pressure from the political leader, they need to hide some professional or celebrities, Politicians involvement in this case; most of the suspicious people were settled this case out of the court with billions of money this deal are very secret. This is clear that most of the computer related cases fail because of investigation problem or computer evidences are very easy to be damage and sometimes there would not be proper evidences to prove. I believe

References [Accessed: 8th June 2011]. [Accessed: 9th June 2011]. [Accessed: 8th June 2011]. [Accessed: 8th June 2011]. [Accessed: 8th June 2011]. [Accessed: 9th June 2011]. [Accessed: 9th June 2011]. [Accessed: 20th May 2011].[Accessed: 4th June 2011]. [Accessed: 8th June 2011] [Accessed: 9th June 2011]. [Accessed: 8th June 2011]. [Accessed: 8th June 2011].

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