Sabotage Law & Legal Definition


Sabotage is the act of hampering, deliberating subverting, or hurting the efforts of another. It is most often an issue in the context of military law, when a person attempts to thwart a war affort, or in employment law, when disgruntled employees destroy employer property.

Cyber-industrial sabotage activities, such as hacking, usually relate to industrial secrets that have commercial value to competitors. In some countries, computer sabotage may be regarded as a breach of civil law rather then criminal law, but there are laws clearly defining cyber-crime as a criminal offense.

The following is an example of a state statute dealing with sabotage:

"Criminal sabotage defined -- Penalty.

(1) Whoever, with intent that his or her act shall, or with reason to believe that it may, injure, interfere with, interrupt, supplant, nullify, impair, or obstruct the owner's or operator's management, operation, or control of any agricultural, stockraising, lumbering, mining, quarrying, fishing, manufacturing, transportation, mercantile, or building enterprise, or any other public or private business or commercial enterprise, wherein any person is employed for wage, shall willfully damage or destroy, or attempt or threaten to damage or destroy, any property whatsoever, or shall unlawfully take or retain, or attempt or threaten unlawfully to take or retain, possession or control of any property, instrumentality, machine, mechanism, or appliance used in such business or enterprise, shall be guilty of criminal sabotage."

  • Unauthorized access to a computer
  • Unauthorized access with intent to commit an offence
  • Unauthorized modification of data