Criminal code section 342

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Criminal Code of Canada Section 342 is stated in part IX which is called 'Offences against Rights of Property'.[1] It deals specifically with 'Offences Resembling Theft'. This criminal code is closely related with how computer crime is defined and handled in Canada.

There are currently four parts of Section 342 of the Criminal Code of Canada:

  • Section 342 deals with theft, forgery of credit cards.
  • Section 342.01 deals with Making, having or dealing in instruments for forging or falsifying credit cards.
  • Section 342.1 deals with Unauthorized use of computer
  • Section 342.2 deals with Possession of device to obtain computer service

Note that the criminal code goes through a lot of amendments and this version might not be the latest version.

Definitions and Informations[edit]

Section 342[2][edit]

Section 342 makes possessing unauthorized credit data and trafficking in credit card passwords an offence. The criminal code states:

Every person who:

(a) steals a credit card,
(b) forges or falsities a credit card,
(c) possesses, uses or traffics in a credit card or a forged or falsified credit card, knowing that it was obtained, made or altered
(i) by the commission in Canada of an offence, or
(ii) by an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence, or
(d) uses a credit card knowing that it has been revoked or canceled.

is guilty of:

(e) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
(f) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

In this section ‘traffic” means, in relation to a credit card or credit data, to sell, export from or import into Canada, distribute or deal in any other way.

Section 342.01[3][edit]

This section says that any transaction and possession of any instruments that is intended for use in forging or falsifying credit card is illegal. The full definition of this criminal code states:

Every person who, without lawful justification or excuse,

(a) makes or repairs,
(b) buys or sells,
(c) exports from or imports into Canada, or
(d) possesses

any instrument, device, apparatus, material or thing that the person knows has been used or knows is adapted or intended for use in forging or falsifying credit cards

is guilty of:

(e) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
(f) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Section 342.1[4][edit]

Unauthorized use of computer is often used to laid charges for hacker or someone who is involved in computer related offences. This section states:

Every one who, fraudulently and without colour of right,

(a) obtains, directly or indirectly, any computer service,
(b) by means of an electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, intercepts or causes to be intercepted, directly or indirectly, any function of a computer system,
(c) uses or causes to be used, directly or indirectly, a computer system with intent to commit an offence under paragraph (a) or (b) or an offence under section 430 in relation to data or a computer system, or
(d) uses, possesses, traffics in or permits another person to have access to a computer password that would enable a person to commit an offence under paragraph (a), (b) or (c)

is guilty of:

(e) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
(f) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Additional Information[edit]

  • “computer password” means any data by which a computer service or computer system is capable of being obtained or used;
  • “computer program” means data representing instructions or statements that, when executed in a computer system, causes the computer system to perform a function;
  • “computer service” includes data processing and the storage or retrieval of data;
  • “computer system” means a device that, or a group of interconnected or related devices one or more of which,
(a) contains computer programs or other data, and
(b) pursuant to computer programs,
(i) performs logic and control, and
(ii) may perform any other function;
  • “data” means representations of information or of concepts that are being prepared or have been prepared in a form suitable for use in a computer system;
  • “electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device” means any device or apparatus that is used or is capable of being used to intercept any function of a computer system, but does not include a hearing aid used to correct subnormal hearing of the user to not better than normal hearing;
  • “function” includes logic, control, arithmetic, deletion, storage and retrieval and communication or telecommunication to, from or within a computer system;
  • “intercept” includes listen to or record a function of a computer system, or acquire the substance, meaning or purport thereof;
  • “traffic” means, in respect of a computer password, to sell, export from or import into Canada, distribute or deal with in any other way.

Section 342.2[5][edit]

This section says that any transaction and possession of any instruments that is intended for committing offence under section 342.1 is illegal. The full definition of this criminal code states:

Every person who, without lawful justification or excuse, makes, possesses, sells, offers for sale or distributes any instrument or device or any component thereof, the design of which renders it primarily useful for committing an offence under section 342.1, under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable inference that the instrument, device or component has been used or is or was intended to be used to commit an offence contrary to that section,

is guilty of:

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Related Criminal Code[edit]

The followings are some criminal code sections that are related with section 342 or computer crime in Canada:

  • Section 430(1.1) which deals with mischief in relation to data.
  • Section 326(1) which deals with theft of telecommunication service.
  • Section 327(1) which deals with possession of device to obtain telecommunication facility or service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showdoc/cs/C-46/bo-ga:l_IX-gb:s_335//en#anchorbo-ga:l_IX-gb:s_335
  2. ^ http://www.canlii.ca/ca/sta/c-46/sec342.html
  3. ^ http://www.canlii.ca/ca/sta/c-46/sec342.01.html
  4. ^ http://www.canlii.ca/ca/sta/c-46/sec342.1.html
  5. ^ http://www.canlii.ca/ca/sta/c-46/sec342.2.html