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Cyber & Computer Crime

People consider new media technologies and social networking as a relatively harmless pursuit however what you say, post, or do on these formats could have criminal consequences. Fisher Dore Lawyers has vast experience dealing with this emerging area of law. We constantly monitor all new media technologies and social networking to ensure that we keep ahead of the game.


Offences involving Child Exploitation Material

Child Exploitation Material is material that, in a way likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, describes or depicts a person, or a representation of a person, who is, or apparently is, a child under 16 years—

  1. in a sexual context, including for example, engaging in a sexual activity; or
  2. in an offensive or demeaning context; or
  3. being subjected to abuse, cruelty or torture.

There are 4 main types of offences involving Child Exploitation Material:-


Involving child in making child exploitation material

Any person who involves a child in the making of child exploitation material commits a crime. The maximum penalty for this type of offence is 14 years imprisonment.

Involving a child in the making of child exploitation material includes—

  1. in any way concerns a child in the making of child exploitation material; and
  2. attempts to involve a child in the making of child exploitation material.


Making child exploitation material

Any person who makes child exploitation material commits a crime. The maximum penalty for this type of offence is 14 years imprisonment penalty — 14 years imprisonment.

Make child exploitation material includes—

  1. produce child exploitation material; and
  2. attempt to make child exploitation material.


Distributing child exploitation material

Any person who distributes child exploitation material commits a crime. The maximum penalty for this type of offence is 14 years imprisonment.

Distribute child exploitation material includes—

  1. communicate, exhibit, send, supply or transmit child exploitation material to someone, whether to a particular person or not; and
  2. make child exploitation material available for access by someone, whether by a particular person or not; and
  3. enter into an agreement or arrangement to do something in paragraph (a) or (b); and
  4. attempt to distribute child exploitation material.


Possessing child exploitation material

Any person who knowingly possesses child exploitation material commits a crime. The maximum penalty for this type of offence is 14 years imprisonment.

All offences involving Child Exploitation Material can be finalised in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court. It is usual however for these types of offences to be finalised in the District Court.

Under section 9 of the Penalties and Sentences Act (QLD) should you be convicted of this offence you must be sentenced to term of actual imprisonment unless exceptional circumstances can be shown. A conviction for this type of offence will also render a person with reporting obligations under the Child Protection legislation.

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Other Cyber Offences

Offences relating to use of a carriage service

The Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) outlines offences relating to using a carriage service. A “carriage service” is defined by section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 as a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy. A carriage service therefore includes telephones, internet and email.

Listed below are some common offences relating to the use of a carriage service. A person commits a crime if they use a carriage service:

  1. To make a threat to kill – maximum penalty 10 years imprisonment;
  2. For a hoax threat – maximum penalty 10 years imprisonment;
  3. To menace, harass or cause offence – maximum penalty 3 years imprisonment;
  4. To access child pornography material – maximum penalty 15 years imprisonment. A conviction for this type of offence will also render a person with reporting obligations under the Child Protection legislation.


Computer hacking and misuse

Any person who uses a restricted computer without the consent of the computer’s controller commits an offence. The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment however should a person cause detriment or damage or obtains a benefit for any person to the value of more than $5,000.00 or intends to commit an indictable offence the person then becomes liable to 10 years imprisonment.


Observations or recordings in breach of privacy

Under the Queensland Criminal Code a person who observes or visually records another person, in circumstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy commits a misdemeanour if –

  1. It is without the other person’s consent; and
  2. When the other person is in a private place; or
  3. Engaging in a private act and the observation or recording is made for the purpose of observing or visually recording the private act.

The maximum penalty for this type of offence is two years imprisonment. As this is an offence that does not automatically attract a term of imprisonment it is possible, depending on differing circumstances, to not have a conviction recorded for this offence. It is essential that if you are charged with this type of offence you contact Fisher Dore Lawyers so that action can be taken as soon as possible to help achieve such an outcome.

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