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Legislation that protects individuals and The group from the misuse of ICT Essay

There are many laws that have been imposed so that people don’t misuse ICT. In this report I will explain some of these laws. I will try to show why these laws were introduced and what they do now to keep people from misusing these new technologies.

Here are a few of the laws and acts that have been passed that have concern ICT:

Data Protection Act 1998

The main purpose of this act is to prevent the misuse of personal data. All organizations that hold the data have to register its use, before using it. This includes organisations such as dentist, doctors, and hospitals etc. these organisations would hold records and data of their patient’s details. They would also have to state what the information they have is and what they would use the information for. If the information is wrong it is because of the lack of care when it was compiled, and in some way has damaged the person’s reputation, the person that this has happened could sue the company for the misuse of their personal data.

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This act is there to protect the privacy of ordinary people. Another part of this act stops information from being passed onto other companies without the person’s knowledge. This act links up with Thomas Davies the GP that I researched about in The Impact of I.C.T in adult in employment. This is because he has a lot of data stored on his laptop, the data stored has information on his patients, and he is not to let anyone have access to this data, apart from himself, so therefore he has set passwords on the data so that the data is kept safe and secure. This is good for Thomas Davies because he knows that the date is safe and wont need to worry of computer hackers. The only person that knows his password is himself, he shouldn’t tell anyone his password because they might try to gain access without permission and that is against the law.

Computer Misuse Act 1990

The computer misuse act was introduced as a result of concerns about people misusing the data and programs held on computers. This act aims to protect users against vandalism and information theft. Computer hacking and spreading viruses were made crimes under this act (Computer Misuse Act). This act was introduced in the 1990s so that the computers could be secure and safe against unauthorised access.

The Act Created 3 New Offences:

* Unauthorised access to computer material.

* Unauthorised access to the Internet to commit commission or further offences.

* Unauthorised modification of computer material.

Unauthorised Access to Computer Material

In this category, you are committing an offence, if you are trying to access any program or data held in any computer without permission. The maximum penalty of this is 6 months in prison and up to �5000 fine. This applies to people who are “just messing around” and have no intention of doing to any of the programs or data once they have got into the system, this covers trying to guess the password and get on the system.

Unauthorised access with intent to commit or Facilitate commission of further

This category covers offenders who carry out unauthorised access with a more serious criminal intent. The access may be made with an intention to carry out fraud. For example, someone may break into a bank, personal or medical system with intention of finding out details about a person that could be used to blackmail. Along with this persistent hacking also comes under this act. This is one of a serious offence, which can lead to a prosecution up to five years in prison.

Unauthorised modification of computer material

This third category concerns with the alteration of data or programs within a computer system rather than simply viewing or using the data or program. An example is changing the program code, which could stop the program from running or to act in an unexpected way. On the other hand, data could be changed, like the balance of a bank account changed, details of driving offences deleted or an examination mark altered. Along with this if a virus is deliberately sent to a computer, it is also an offence under this category.

The Copyright, Designs and Patients Act

The copyright laws have been long protected the rights of authors, composers, artists etc. These also apply to computer software’s you buy. When you have brought the software you have not brought the program, you have only bought the right to use the software under the terms and conditions of the license. If you attempt to copy or using the software without permission this could lead to criminal penalties, these penalties include unlimited fines and 2 years in prison, or both.

Also this legislation links up with Stephan hawking. As many people copy his research and work without his permission, this is wrong. Without the users permission you cannot copy their work. This is called “copyright infringement”.

Preventing Copyrights

Computer software companies now have realized about the software pirates, and now have inputted a new type of software in their old ones to prevent software pirates being sold.

* The license agreement is now clearly printed on every package.

* Some companies have now designed a device in their software’s to only run if they have a code typed in. This code changes every-time the program is run and can be found by looking inside the manual or using a special code wheel which is included in the software.

* Some software companies only allow their programs to run if they have a C-D Rom in the C-D Drive.

* Some programs only work if they have a special piece of hardware plugged in the back of their computer; this hardware is called a dongle.

The Health and Safety at Work Act

Many computer users have blamed computers for various problems concerning their health; many of these problems are avoidable. So therefore there was a legislation made under the health and safety regulation 1992, this legislation made legal requirements of the employers to take action for the health of workers using computers. Here is some health problems associated with the use of computers:

Repetitive Strain Injury

Whilst using the keyboard that is positioned at an awkward angle can cause an injury. The Repetitive strain injury also affects the shoulders, fingers and wrists of those who are typing on the computer all day. This causes the person some pain making those areas hard to move (Stiffness).

Eye Strain

Whist on the computer if you are constantly looking at the computer screen this can lead to strain in parts of the eye. If the lightning of the room is at a wrong level or if the computer screen settings are set wrong they can also cause eyestrain. This causes the person to have bad headaches and sore eyes.

Regulation and Investigatory Powers Act 2000

This act is giving the government total power over what technologies you use, the main for these are:

* The government can order the telecommunication companies such BT, ntl: to intercept your communications (E-Mail, Telephone Calls, Text Messages, Voicemails, and Multimedia Messages etc.)

* They can target anyone they think is doing something illegal and find out.

* They can monitor a person’s use of technologies (listed above).

Evaluation

Whilst I was doing my work on legislation, I realized why they were introduced, the legislation is a law, which we must agree to, but if we do the opposite and don’t agree with them the penalties are severe and could be a very big mistake. They are many different types of legislations that have been introduced by the government to keep the community safe and secure.

They are many legislations to protect the society from computer hackers (for example the data protection aims to keep your personal details safe and secure) these legislations protect the community in many ways for example the data protection keeps you data safe and secure and is aiming on preventing computer hackers gaining access to your computer material. Most types of legislations come with major consequences if broken or not anticipated. Many, which can be costly if data is damaged or destroyed, such disasters, may make your business insolvent, or affect you in the long term.

The types of legislations that are introduced are aimed for the purpose to provide you with security of data. Whereby it helps data to be safe and secure so that it’s out of reach of potential hackers. The legislation that have been made prevent people misusing I.C.T and prevent them from doing anything illegal, the data protection act keeps data safe and secure, the copyright act prevents people from making illegal pirate copies of different types of software’s etc. the computer misuse act prevent people from committing crimes such as these:

* Unauthorised access to computer material.

* Unauthorised access to the Internet to commit commission or further offences.

* Unauthorised modification of computer material.

This act protects the public as the act prevents computer hackers fro committing the crimes listed above.

This is how the acts have preventing people misusing I.C.T.

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