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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
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Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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Are there laws or penalties for tampering with someone elses

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Are there laws or penalties for tampering with someone else's computer or their email account, such as using their password XXXXX enter and delete files without their permission?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

There are both state and federal laws that apply.

But can you verify, the person who did this, were they in SD? Or did they hack in from another state?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This would be a person living in South Dakota with another person and one is contemplating going into delete things on the other's computer. They are ending a volatile relationship and unfortunately both did stupid things like exchanging sexually explicit messages wiht text and pictures. There is concern that the other person may use these pictures and messages to do future public harm.
Thanks

Here is the law that applies:

SD Code 43-43B
43-43B-1. Unlawful uses of computer system. A person is guilty of unlawful use of a computer system, software, or data if the person:
(1) Knowingly obtains the use of, accesses or exceeds authorized access to, a computer system, or any part thereof, without the consent of the owner;
(2) Knowingly obtains the use of, accesses, or exceeds authorized access to, a computer system, or any part thereof, without the consent of the owner, and the access or use includes access to confidential data or material;
(3) Knowingly copies or obtains information from a computer system, or compromises any security controls for the computer system, or uses or discloses to another, or attempts to use or disclose to another, the numbers, codes, passwords, or other means of access to a computer system without the consent of the owner;
(4) Knowingly disrupts, denies, or inhibits access to software or data without the consent of the owner;
(5) Knowingly disrupts, denies, or inhibits access to a computer system, without consent of the owner;
(6) Knowingly modifies, changes, or alters software or data, without the consent of the owner;
(7) Knowingly obtains use of, alters, accesses, or exceeds authorized access to, destroys, disables, or inhibits access to a computer system, as part of a deception for the purpose of obtaining money, property, or services from the owner of a computer system, or any third party;
(8) Knowingly destroys or disables a computer system, without consent of the owner; or
(9) Knowingly destroys or disables software or computer data, without consent of the owner.

SO if one person goes into another's computer, or computer account, without permission, and destroys files? That is a felony.


Let me know if you have more questions


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What are the penalties for breaking this SD law cited?
Depends on what section.

Penalties for unlawful use of computer systems. Violations of the provisions of § 43-43B-1 are punishable as follows:
(1) For a violation of subdivision (1), a Class 1 misdemeanor;
(2) For a violation of subdivision (2) or (3), a Class 6 felony;
(3) For a violation of subdivision (4), a Class 5 felony;
(4) For a violation of subdivision (5) or (6), a Class 4 felony;
(5) For a violation of subdivision (8) or (9), a Class 3 felony;
(6) For a violation of subdivision (7), a Class 2 felony.

SO for what you describe, its a class 4 felony. For a class 4 max punishment is ten years imprisonment in the state penitentiary. In addition, a fine of twenty thousand dollars may be imposed


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