Breach of Computer Security
Broadly speaking there are two ways to commit the offense of Breach of Computer Security.
Texas Penal Code 33.02(a) defines breach of computer security as when a person knowingly accesses a computer, computer network, or computer system without the effective consent of the owner.
This offense is a Class B misdemeanor unless you have two or more priors, or you access a government computer, then the offense is a State Jail Felony.What is Effective Consent?
"Effective consent" includes consent by a person legally authorized to act for the owner. Consent is not effective if is induced by deception, given by a person the actor knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner; given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is known by the actor to be unable to make reasonable property dispositions; given solely to detect the commission of an offense, or used for a purpose other than that for which the consent was given.
Texas Penal Code 33.02(b)(1) states that a person commits the offense of Breach of Computer Security when, with the intent to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete property, the person knowingly accesses a computer (network or system) without the effective consent of the owner. That sounds like the first way right? Well, there are also two additional requirements.
- The person must access the computer in violation of a clear and conspicuous prohibition by the owner of the computer, a contractual agreement to which the person has expressly agreed
- AND with the intent to obtain or use a file, data, or proprietary information stored in the computer, network, or system to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete the property.
The punishment for TPC 33.02(b)(1) depends on how much damage caused by the breach. It is a
- Class C misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is less than $100
- Class B misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is $100-$750
- Class A misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is $750-$2,500
- State jail felony if the aggregate amount involved is $2,500-$30,000
- 3rd-Degree Felony if the aggregate amount involved is $30,000- $150,000
- 2nd-Degree Felony if the aggregate amount involved is $150,000-$300,000
- 1st-Degree Felony if the amount is over $300,000