CODE OF VIRGINIA
TITLE 18.2. CRIMES AND OFFENSES GENERALLY.
CHAPTER 5. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
ARTICLE 7.1. COMPUTER CRIMES.

"VIRGINIA COMPUTER CRIMES ACT"

1984

SIGNIFICANT EXCERPTS

Index:

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 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 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 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.

"Property" shall include:

  1. Real property;
  2. COMPUTERS and COMPUTER networks;
  3. Financial instruments, COMPUTER data, COMPUTER programs, COMPUTER software
  4. and all other personal property regardless of whether they are:
    1. Tangible or intangible;
    2. In a format readable by humans or by a COMPUTER;
    3. In transit between COMPUTERS or within a COMPUTER network or between any
    4. devices which comprise a COMPUTER; or
    5. Located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a COMPUTER
    6. or by a human; and
  5. 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.


PROVISIONS OF THE CODE

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
  4. value of the property or services obtained is less than $200, the CRIME of
  5. COMPUTER fraud shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

s 18.2-152.4. COMPUTER trespass.

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.

s 18.2-152.5. COMPUTER invasion of privacy.

  1. 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.
  2. The CRIME of COMPUTER invasion of privacy shall be punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor.

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.

s 18.2-152.12. Civil relief; damages.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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.


The full text of the Virginia Computer Crimes Acts is available here.
Last updated 97/07/30
J.A.N. Lee.