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 given to him by another senior employee.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge had taken from the Allison case that ‘right to contol’ within the subsection meant more than merely a right to access or operate a system. It mean the right to authorise or forbid the operation or the use of the system. He was correct. The object of the Act would be undermined if anyone with a generalised right of access could use that authority to access materials as he wished. The civil protections provided by the Act were and insufficient remedy on their own.
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers LCJ, Cresswelll J, Openshaw J
 EWCA Crim 258,  1 WLR 1554
England and Wales
Cited – 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 February 2022; Ref: scu.238336