Evaluate the limitations of UK laws in controlling computer misuse, and suggest more effective ways of controlling computer misuse?Main UK laws in controlling computer misuse -...

Evaluate the limitations of UK laws in controlling computer misuse, and suggest more effective ways of controlling computer misuse?

Main UK laws in controlling computer misuse -

·          Computer Misuse Act 1990

·          Data Protection Acts (1984,1988 and1994 Guidelines)

·          Copyright, Design and Patent Act 1988

·          Race Relation Acts

·          Disability of Discrimination Act 1995

·          Sex Discrimination Act 1986

·          Employment Act 1963,88,89

·          Companies Act 1985.

·          Fraud

·          Offences against minors

·          Indecency laws

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

3A Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offence under section 1 or 3 (obtaining information)

The main limitation of Computer Misuse Law is that the punishment does not fit the crime. If people obtain information unethically, or even conspire and plan to use this information for actions that are unjustified or malicious, a minimum of 2-4 years in prison will be paid. That does not seem fair for the amount of damaged that is caused.

The biggest problem with this is that this may put IT workers in an dangerous position, because they hold key information which could come back to bite them if someone decides to accuse an IT person of leaking or passing information. Surely, they hold the key to secret information, but who is to say that they did or did not misuse it.

The wording of the law leads to open analysis and anyone could bend it, just because of the word it is worded. It is impossible for it to be specific, because the criminal possibilities are merely circumstantial, and circumstantial evidence is very hard to proof.

Therefore, the limitation of this law is that it is trying to do too much to protect but it is also generalizing too much and including too many people who are by profession in charge of handling intelligence and, by the malice of others, may be accused of a professional mal practice. Another limitation is that the punishment for this crime is ridiculous. Stealing someone's identity, hacking someone's bank account, or even reaading someone else's emails is actually quite unfair and abusive. Only 2-4 years of jailtime does nothing to recuperate the loss of dignity and privacy that hackers take away.