Call for action: computer misuse?

Call for action: computer misuse?

Cyber-Security in M&A: what you need to know

We are awaiting feedback from the Home Office call for information launched in early Spring on the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA).

The consultation aims to identify potential weaknesses or gaps in the current legislation and is relevant to UK organisations including:

  • Academia
  • Business
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • The cybersecurity industry
  • Private sector

For more information see here.

The CMA is the main UK legislation relating to cyber-dependent crime, covering offences such as hacking into computer systems. The legislation is now over 30 years old whereas technology has advanced considerably as has cyber-crime.

Whilst there have been some updates to the legislation, by way of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (SCA) and the Police and Justice Act 2006 (PJA), the review will help to ensure there is a robust set of laws to combat opportunists and criminals

Aims of the call for information

As it currently stands, the CMA covers five offences and the call for information has been launched to identify any potential shortfalls. Examples of questions included are:

  • Are there any gaps in the legislation, and if so, what are they?
  • Do you believe that law enforcement agencies have adequate powers to tackle cybercrime?
  • Do you believe that the sentences relating to the offences in the CMA are adequate?

The timing for the call for information, coincides with the forthcoming cyber strategy, which the government is expected to publish in 2021.

It seems an appropriate time to consider the CMA in this context and strengthening the legislation around cyber-dependent crime can only be beneficial to the strategy.

Next steps

We will need to await the outcome of the call for information to see if anything will change, however, the potential strengthening of cyber-security laws should benefit both businesses and individuals.

Contact our experts for further advice

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