It came to light on Friday 3 November that Donald Trump’s Twitter account had been deleted. This was no technical error – an employee went “rogue”.
All office computer policies need to make this clear, explained Susan Hall, IT lawyer and head of technology at Clarke Willmott. “This is especially true where people are handling valuable data,” she said. “Hacking was criminalised in 1990 by the CMA. “This creates three distinct offences: unauthorised access to a computer, unauthorised access to a computer with intent to commit further offences and unauthorised access with the intent to impair the operation of a computer or to erase, block or corrupt data or programs.
“The conduct Badenoch admitted to appears at first sight to fall within the first and the third offences. Both can be tried n the Crown Court or the Magistrates Court, with the current maximum penalties currently being two and ten years’ imprisonment respectively.“A police constable who accessed police intelligence systems to snoop on his ex-girlfriends received a nine months suspended sentence, and a hacker who shut Sports Direct’s website down for 30 minutes received a sentence of ten months. The arguments put forward by Badenoch to excuse her actions – that it was a prank, that it stemmed from ‘youthful exuberance’ and involved ‘guessing a password’ – have not found favour in earlier cases under the CMA.” The incident could hardly have come at a worse time. As Hall suggested, with the GDPR coming into effect next month, everyone is sensitive to risks of security breaches. She added: “Treating hacking flippantly undermines everyone’s efforts of getting cyber issues onto the table and properly addressed.”
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