Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Data with Intent to Commit Serious Computer Offence

– section 247F of the Crimes Act 1958

Woman Operating a Computer and CellphoneThe offence of producing, supplying or obtaining data with intent to commit or facilitate a serious computer offence is the sort of offence which is heard in the Magistrates’ Court. In essence, to prove this charge the Prosecution must show that the accused produced, supplied or obtained data with the intention to commit a serious computer offence.

If you are charged with this offence, it is vital you contact a defence lawyer.

Examples of Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Data with Intent to Commit Serious Computer Offence
  • You work at a bank and your friend tells you they want to steal from the bank, and require insider knowledge to help them pull off the theft. You use the bank’s computer system in an unauthorised way in order to help them.
Questions in cases like this
  • Did you produce, supply or obtain data?
  • Did you do so with the intention of committing a serious computer offence?
What are some of the possible defences to Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Data with Intent to Commit Serious Computer Offence?

Defences to this could be a factual dispute or lack of intent.

You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge

Magistrates' Court
The offence of Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Data with Intent to Commit a Serious Computer Offence has a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment. It is the sort of charge heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

What is the legal definition of Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Data with Intent to Commit Serious Computer Offence?

A person who produces, supplies or obtains data (a) with the intention of committing a serious computer offence; or (b) with the intention of facilitating the commission of a serious computer offence (whether by the person or by another person) is guilty of an offence.

Legislation

The legislation for this offence can be found in section 247F of Crimes Act 1958.

Elements of the offence

To prove this charge, the prosecution must prove the following beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused produced, supplied or obtained data
  2. The accused did so with the intention of committing or facilitating…
  3. A serious computer offence

Produce, supply or obtain data
‘Produce, supply or obtain’ are not defined in the Crimes Act 1958, so the court would look to the ordinary meaning of those words.

To ‘produce’ data means to manufacture or create data.1 To ‘supply’ data means to provide data to someone or to make data available for use.2 To obtain data means to gain or attain data.3 Whether or not the accused ‘produced, supplied or obtained’ data will be determined by looking at the circumstances.

Producing, supplying or obtaining data includes data held in a computer or contained in a data storage device.4 It also includes producing, supplying or obtaining a document in which the data is recorded.5

Intention to commit or facilitate
A person may be found guilty of an offence against this section even if committing the serious computer offence is impossible.6

An accused must intend to commit or facilitate a serious computer offence – mere carelessness or inadvertence is not sufficient. Whether or not an accused has the requisite intention will depend on the circumstances.

It is important to note that the ‘serious computer offence’ intended does not have to be committed by you. It is still an offence under this section if your actions are used to facilitate a serious computer offence by another person.

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A serious computer offence
‘Serious computer offence’ means an offence against section 247B, 247C or 247D of the Crimes Act 1958; or conduct in another jurisdiction that is an offence in that jurisdiction and that would constitute an offence against section 247B, 247C or 247D if the conduct occurred in Victoria.

“Can they prove you intended to commit a serious computer offence?”

Section 247B
A person who causes any unauthorised computer function (a) knowing it is unauthorised; and (b) with the intention of committing a serious offence or facilitating the commission of a serious offence (whether by the person or by another person) is guilty of a serious computer offence.

Section 247C
A person who (a) causes any unauthorised modification of data held in a computer; and (b) knows that the modification is unauthorised; and (c) intends by the modification to impair access to, or to impair the reliability, security or operation of, any data held in a computer or is reckless as to any such impairment is guilty of an serious computer offence.

Section 247D
A person who (a) causes any unauthorised impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer; and (b) knows that the impairment is unauthorised; and (c) intends to impair electronic communication to or from the computer or is reckless as to any such impairment is guilty of a serious computer offence.



[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/produce
[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supply
[3] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obtain
[4] Section 247F (2) of the Crimes Act 1958
[5] Section 247F (2) of the Crimes Act 1958
[6] Section 247F (3) of the Crimes Act 1958