Our archaic law leaves an open door for cybercrime

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Think what the world of IT was like in 1990. A few lucky researchers, military personnel, government workers and assorted hangers-on would have been able to enjoy the novelty of fledgling email and internet services. If you were a forward-thinking large corporate, you might well have a mainframe or a minicomputer network storing and processing crucial data and, although dial-up modems could connect systems to each other and enable remote terminal access, viruses and hack-attacks were minor worries. The occasional infected floppy disc might contain some malware that could potentially compromise the contents of your expensive 40mb hard drive, but a relatively up-to-date antivirus programme would probably protect you. Hackers and virus writers were mostly a minority sub-culture of cyber-kids operating from their bedrooms bragging and swapping war stories on underground bulletin boards.

As technology quickly became fundamental to both businesses and governments it began to dawn that cyber-crime could present a real risk.  Legislation was sought that would protect the public and the plc alike from these new types of criminal who exploited the emerging digital age with the ...

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