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The Belgian Parliament has in November 2000 adopted new articles in the Criminal Code on computer crime, in effect from February 13, 2001. The four main problems of computer forgery, computer fraud, hacking and sabotage are made criminal offences. This unofficial text in english is based on a June 2000 version.

IV. COMPUTER HACKING

Article 550(b) of the Criminal Code:

§1. Any person who, aware that he is not authorised, accesses or maintains his access to a computer system, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3 months to 1 year and to a fine of (Bfr 5,200-5m) or to one of these sentences.

If the offence specified in §1 above is committed with intention to defraud, the term of imprisonment may be from 6 months to 2 years.

§2. Any person who, with the intention to defraud or with the intention to cause harm, exceeds his power of access to a computer system, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years and to a fine of (BFr 5,200-20m) or to one of these sentences.

§3. Any person finding himself in one of the situations specified in §§ 1 and 2 and who either: accesses data which is stored, processed or transmitted by a computer system, or procures such data in any way whatsoever, or makes any use whatsoever of a computer system, or causes any damage, even unintentionally, to a computer system or to data which is stored, processed or transmitted by such a system, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 1 to 3 years and to a fine of (BFr 5,200-10m) or to one of these sentences.

§4. The attempt to commit one of the offences specified in §§ 1 and 2 is sanctioned by the same sentences as the offence itself.

§5. Any person who, with intention to defraud or with the intention to cause harm, seeks, assembles, supplies, diffuses or commercialises data which is stored, processed or transmitted by a computer system and by means of which the offences specified in §§1-4 may be committed, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 3 years and to a fine of (BFr 5,200-20m) or to one of these sentences.

§6. Any person who orders or incites one of the offences specified in §§ 1-5 to be committed may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years and to a fine of (BFr 5,200-40m) or to one of these sentences.

§7. Any person who, aware that data has been obtained by the commission of one of the offences specified in §§1-3, holds, reveals or divulges to another person, or makes any use whatsoever of data thus obtained, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 3 years and to a fine of (BFr 5,200-20m) or to one of these sentences.

§8. The sentence carried by §§1-7 are doubled if an offence under one of these provisions is committed within 5 years of a judgement or decision of condemnation for one of these offences (or for computer fraud, forgery, sabotage or illegal interception of telecommunications).