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Computer Crimes

Computer technology can be an excellent tool for streamlining all sorts of operations.
The very nature of computers and how they are utilized lends itself to abuse by the criminal element. The State of Wisconsin and the Federal government have laws that offer certain degrees of protection regarding computer access, data, programs, and other areas in the computer world. It is important for any organization or business to have policies in writing regarding the protection of their data, computer software and access to their systems.

The following Wisconsin statutes apply directly to computer data, programs, documentation, and access:943.70 (2) OFFENSES AGAINST COMPUTER DATA AND PROGRAMS.

(a) Whoever wilfully, knowingly, and without authorization does any of
the following may be penalized as provided in par. (b):

1. Modifies data, computer programs, or supporting documentation.
2. Destroys data, computer programs, or supporting documentation.
3. Accesses data, computer programs, or supporting documentation.
4. Takes possession of data, computer programs, or supporting documentation.
5. Copies data, computer programs, or supporting documentation.
6. Discloses restricted access codes, or other restricted access information to unauthorized persons.

(b) Whoever violated this section is guilty of:

1. A Class A misdemeanor unless sub. 2,3, or 4. applies.
2. A Class E felony if the offense is commited to defraud or obtain property.
3. A Class D Felony if the damage is greater than $2500 or if it causes an interruption or impairment of governmental operations or public communication, of transportation or of a supply of water, gas or other public service.

943.70(3) OFFENSES AGAINST COMPUTERS, COMPUTER EQUIPMENT OR SUPPLIES.

(a) Whoever willfully, knowingly and without authorization does any of the following may be penalized as provided in par.(b):

1. Modifies computer equipment or supplies that are used or intended to
be used in a computer, computer system or computer network.
2. Destroys, uses, takes or damages a computer, computer system, computer network or equipment or supplies used or intended to be used in a computer, computer system, or computer network.

(b) Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of:

1. A Class A misdemeanor unless sub. 2. 3. or 4. applies.
2. A Class E felony if the offense is commited to defraud or obtain property.
3. A Class D felony if the damage to the computer, computer system, computer network, equipment or supplies is greater than $2500.

This information is intended as a guide and is not a legal document.
For further information regarding these statutes please consult the Wisconsin State Statutes.
The investigation of, and seizure of computer equipment for criminal investigative purposes requires specific procedures. The Shawano Police Department has personnel trained in the seizure of computer equipment for investigative purposes.

For more information you may contact LT. DAN MAUEL
125 SOUTH SAWYER STREET  |  SHAWANO, WI 54166  |  NON EMERGENCY 715-526-6117  |  ADMINISTRATION 715-524-4545  |  FAX 715-524-2786