Regina v Bow Street Magistrates ex parte Government of the United States of America; In re Allison: HL 2 Sep 1999

A person within an organisation who was authorised to access some data on a computer system at a particular level, could exceed his authority by accessing data at a level outside that authority. The unauthorised access offence under the 1990 Act was not limited to access obtained by an outsider or hacker. A section 1 offence could be committed without the relevant intent being proved to be directed at particular data. A conspiracy to commit an offence under section 2 is extradictable.


Lord Steyn, Lord Hutton, Lord Saville of Newdigate, Lord Hobhouse of Wood-borough, Lord Millett


Times 02-Sep-1999, [1999] UKHL 31, [1999] ALL ER 1, [2000] 2 AC 216


House of Lords, Bailii


Computer Misuse Act 1990, Extradition Act 1989


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Gilmore and Ogun Admn 6-Jun-1997
An ‘offence under the Act’ does not include a conspiracy to commit that offence for purposes of extradition proceedings. The court rejected an argument that the effect of the Act of 1989 was to free the Treaty from the constraints imposed by the . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Bignell and Another QBD 6-Jun-1997
Policemen were convicted by the stipendiary magistrate of an offence under 1990 Act. They had requested a police computer operator to obtain information from the Police National Computer about the ownership and registration of two cars for their own . .
Not followedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Bignall Admn 16-May-1997
The defendant police officers had obtained information from the Police National Computer, but had used it for improper purposes.
Held: The prosecution should have taken place under the 1990 Act as unauthorised access, and had not been used . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Stanford CACD 1-Feb-2006
The defendant appealed his conviction for the unlawful interception of communications, saying that he was authorised to access the information he had obtained. He had instructed a junior employee to access emails by the use of an ID and password . .
CitedZakrzewski v The Regional Court In Lodz, Poland SC 23-Jan-2013
The appellant was subject to an extradition request. He objected that the request involved an aggregation of sentences and that this did not meet the requirement sof the 2003 Act. He had been arrested under the arrest warrant, but during his trial . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Extradition

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.85134