Computer Trespass Law and Legal Definition

A person is guilty of computer trespass if s/he intentionally and without authorization accesses, alters, deletes, damages, destroys, or disrupts any computer, computer system, computer network, computer program, or data. Computer trespass is directed generally towards computer hackers.

There are state specific laws on the subject which varies from state to state. However a key element for all computer trespass offenses is lack of authorization to access a computer or computer system

The following is an example of a State Statute (New York) defining Computer Trespass:

NY CLS Penal § 156.10 Computer trespass

A person is guilty of computer trespass when he or she knowingly uses [fig 1] , causes to be used, or accesses a computer [fig 2] , computer service, or computer network without authorization and:

1. he or she does so with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or further the commission of any felony; or

2. he or she thereby knowingly gains access to computer material.

Computer trespass is a class E felony