Chief Sponsor: David E. Lifferth

Senate Sponsor: Daniel W. Thatcher


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Criminal Code regarding offenses committed by means of
10     electronic or computer functions.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     defines critical infrastructure regarding computer crimes and creates the offense of
14     interfering electronically or by computer with critical infrastructure;
15          ▸     defines a denial of service and provides a penalty for causing a denial of service;
16          ▸     provides that reporting a false emergency situation involving violence or harm, and
17     also reporting that the nonexistent emergency is at a specified location, is a criminal
18     offense;
19          ▸     modifies an element of computer crimes to include a person who acts with
20     authorization, but then commits a crime;
21          ▸     modifies the reporting procedure for computer crime offenses; and
22          ▸     modifies the offense of electronic communication harassment to include distribution
23     of personal identifying information.
24     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25          None
26     Other Special Clauses:
27          None

28     Utah Code Sections Affected:
29     AMENDS:
30          76-6-702, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 72
31          76-6-703, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 193
32          76-6-705, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 38
33          76-9-105, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 166
34          76-9-201, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 326
35          76-9-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 166

37     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
38          Section 1. Section 76-6-702 is amended to read:
39          76-6-702. Definitions.
40          As used in this part:
41          (1) "Access" means to directly or indirectly use, attempt to use, instruct, communicate
42     with, cause input to, cause output from, or otherwise make use of any resources of a computer,
43     computer system, computer network, or any means of communication with any of them.
44          (2) "Authorization" means having the express or implied consent or permission of the
45     owner, or of the person authorized by the owner to give consent or permission to access a
46     computer, computer system, or computer network in a manner not exceeding the consent or
47     permission.
48          (3) "Computer" means any electronic device or communication facility that stores,
49     [retrieves,] processes, [or] transmits, or facilitates the transmission of data.
50          (4) "Computer system" means a set of related, connected or unconnected, devices,
51     software, or other related computer equipment.
52          (5) "Computer network" means:
53          (a) the interconnection of communication or telecommunication lines between:
54          (i) computers; or
55          (ii) computers and remote terminals; or
56          (b) the interconnection by wireless technology between:
57          (i) computers; or
58          (ii) computers and remote terminals.

59          (6) "Computer property" includes electronic impulses, electronically produced data,
60     information, financial instruments, software, or programs, in either machine or human readable
61     form, any other tangible or intangible item relating to a computer, computer system, computer
62     network, and copies of any of them.
63          (7) "Confidential" means data, text, or computer property that is protected by a security
64     system that clearly evidences that the owner or custodian intends that it not be available to
65     others without the owner's or custodian's permission.
66          (8) "Critical infrastructure" means the same as that term is defined in Subsection
67     76-6-106(1).
68          (9) "Damage" means any of the following that result from a violation of this part:
69          (a) physical harm to or loss of real, personal, or commercial property; and
70          (b) economic losses incurred by the victim.
71          (10) "Denial of service attack" means an attack or intrusion that is intended to disrupt
72     legitimate access to a network resource or system.
73          [(8)] (11) "Information" does not include information obtained:
74          (a) through use of:
75          (i) an electronic product identification or tracking system; or
76          (ii) other technology used by a retailer to identify, track, or price goods; [and] or
77          (b) by a retailer through the use of equipment designed to read the electronic product
78     identification or tracking system data located within the retailer's location.
79          [(9)] (12) "License or entitlement" includes:
80          (a) licenses, certificates, and permits granted by governments;
81          (b) degrees, diplomas, and grades awarded by educational institutions;
82          (c) military ranks, grades, decorations, and awards;
83          (d) membership and standing in organizations and religious institutions;
84          (e) certification as a peace officer;
85          (f) credit reports; and
86          (g) another record or datum upon which a person may be reasonably expected to rely in
87     making decisions that will have a direct benefit or detriment to another.
88          [(10)] (13) "Security system" means a computer, computer system, network, or
89     computer property that has some form of access control technology implemented, such as

90     encryption, password protection, other forced authentication, or access control designed to keep
91     out unauthorized persons.
92          [(11)] (14) "Services" include computer time, data manipulation, and storage functions.
93          [(12)] (15) "Financial instrument" includes any check, draft, money order, certificate of
94     deposit, letter of credit, bill of exchange, electronic fund transfer, automated clearing house
95     transaction, credit card, or marketable security.
96          [(13)] (16) "Software" or "program" means a series of instructions or statements in a
97     form acceptable to a computer, relating to the operations of the computer, or permitting the
98     functioning of a computer system in a manner designed to provide results including system
99     control programs, application programs, or copies of any of them.
100          Section 2. Section 76-6-703 is amended to read:
101          76-6-703. Computer crimes and penalties.
102          (1) A person who with or without authorization gains or attempts to gain access to any
103     computer and unlawfully alters, damages, destroys, discloses, or modifies any computer,
104     computer network, computer property, computer system, computer program, or computer data
105     or software, and [thereby] as a result causes economic or property damage, or both, to another
106     person or entity, or obtains money, property, information, or a benefit for any person without
107     legal right, is guilty of:
108          (a) a class B misdemeanor when:
109          (i) the financial or property damage caused or the value of the money, property, or
110     benefit obtained or sought to be obtained is less than $500; or
111          (ii) the information obtained is not confidential;
112          (b) a class A misdemeanor when the damage caused or the value of the money,
113     property, or benefit obtained or sought to be obtained is or exceeds $500 but is less than
114     $1,500;
115          (c) a third degree felony when the financial or property damage caused or the value of
116     the money, property, or benefit obtained or sought to be obtained is or exceeds $1,500 but is
117     less than $5,000;
118          (d) a second degree felony when the financial or property damage caused or the value
119     of the money, property, or benefit obtained or sought to be obtained is or exceeds $5,000; or
120          (e) a third degree felony when:

121          (i) the property or benefit obtained or sought to be obtained is a license or entitlement;
122          (ii) the damage is to the license or entitlement of another person; or
123          (iii) the information obtained is confidential; or
124          (iv) in gaining access the person breaches or breaks through a security system.
125          (2) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), a person who intentionally or
126     knowingly and without authorization gains or attempts to gain access to a computer, computer
127     network, computer property, or computer system under circumstances not otherwise
128     constituting an offense under this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
129          (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a), a retailer that uses an electronic product
130     identification or tracking system, or other technology to identify, track, or price goods is not
131     guilty of a violation of Subsection (2)(a) if the equipment designed to read the electronic
132     product identification or tracking system data and used by the retailer to identify, track, or price
133     goods is located within the retailer's location.
134          (3) A person who uses or knowingly allows another person to use any computer,
135     computer network, computer property, or computer system, program, or software to devise or
136     execute any artifice or scheme to defraud or to obtain money, property, services, or other things
137     of value by false pretenses, promises, or representations, is guilty of an offense based on the
138     value of the money, property, services, or things of value, in the degree set forth in Subsection
139     76-10-1801(1).
140          (4) A person who intentionally or knowingly, and with or without authorization,
141     interferes with or interrupts computer services to another authorized to receive the services is
142     guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
143          (5) A person who by means of a computer, computer network, computer property,
144     computer system, computer program, computer data or software intentionally or knowingly
145     interferes with or interrupts critical infrastructure is guilty of a third degree felony.
146          [(5)] (6) It is an affirmative defense to Subsections (1) and (2) that a person obtained
147     access or attempted to obtain access in response to, and for the purpose of protecting against or
148     investigating, a prior attempted or successful breach of security of a computer, computer
149     network, computer property, computer system whose security the person is authorized or
150     entitled to protect, and the access attempted or obtained was no greater than reasonably
151     necessary for that purpose.

152          Section 3. Section 76-6-705 is amended to read:
153          76-6-705. Reporting violations.
154          Every person, except [those] a person to whom a statutory or common law privilege
155     applies, who has reason to believe that [the provisions] any provision of Section 76-6-703 [are]
156     is being or [have] has been violated shall report the suspected violation to:
157          (1) the attorney general[,] or county attorney, or, if within a prosecution district, the
158     district attorney of the county or prosecution district in which part or all of the violations
159     occurred[.]; or
160          (2) a state or local law enforcement agency
161          Section 4. Section 76-9-105 is amended to read:
162          76-9-105. Making a false alarm -- Penalties.
163          (1) A person is guilty of making a false alarm if [he] the person initiates or circulates a
164     report or warning of any fire, impending bombing, or other crime or catastrophe, knowing that
165     the report or warning is false or baseless and is likely to cause evacuation of any building, place
166     of assembly, or facility of public transport, to cause public inconvenience or alarm or action of
167     any sort by any official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.
168          (2) (a) Making a false alarm relating to a weapon of mass destruction as defined in
169     Section 76-10-401 is a second degree felony.
170          (b) Making a false alarm that alleges an ongoing act or an imminent threat of an act
171     that causes or threatens to cause bodily harm, serious bodily injury, or death against another
172     person is a third degree felony.
173          [(b)] (c) Making a false alarm other than under Subsection (2)(a) or (b) is a class B
174     misdemeanor.
175          (3) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, a court shall order any person
176     convicted of a felony violation of this section to reimburse any federal, state, or local unit of
177     government, or any private business, organization, individual, or entity for all expenses and
178     losses incurred in responding to the violation, unless the court states on the record the reasons
179     why the court finds the reimbursement would be inappropriate.
180          Section 5. Section 76-9-201 is amended to read:
181          76-9-201. Electronic communication harassment -- Definitions -- Penalties.
182          (1) As used in this section:

183          (a) "Adult" means a person 18 years of age or older.
184          (b) "Electronic communication" means any communication by electronic,
185     electro-mechanical, or electro-optical communication device for the transmission and reception
186     of audio, image, or text but does not include broadcast transmissions or similar
187     communications that are not targeted at any specific individual.
188          (c) "Electronic communication device" includes telephone, facsimile, electronic mail,
189     [or] pager, computer, or any device capable of electronic communication.
190          (d) "Minor" means a person who is younger than 18 years of age.
191          (e) "Personal identifying information" means the same as that term is defined in
192     Section 76-6-1102.
193          (2) A person is guilty of electronic communication harassment and subject to
194     prosecution in the jurisdiction where the communication originated or was received if with
195     intent to annoy, alarm, intimidate, offend, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the
196     electronic communications of another, the person:
197          (a) (i) makes repeated contact by means of electronic communications, whether or not
198     a conversation ensues; or
199          (ii) after the recipient has requested or informed the person not to contact the recipient,
200     and the person repeatedly or continuously:
201          (A) contacts the electronic communication device of the recipient; or
202          (B) causes an electronic communication device of the recipient to ring or to receive
203     other notification of attempted contact by means of electronic communication;
204          (b) makes contact by means of electronic communication and insults, taunts, or
205     challenges the recipient of the communication or any person at the receiving location in a
206     manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response;
207          (c) makes contact by means of electronic communication and threatens to inflict injury,
208     physical harm, or damage to any person or the property of any person; [or]
209          (d) causes disruption, jamming, or overload of an electronic communication system
210     through excessive message traffic or other means utilizing an electronic communication
211     device[.]; or
212          (e) electronically publishes, posts, or otherwise makes available personal identifying
213     information in a public online site or forum.

214          (3) (a) (i) Electronic communication harassment committed against an adult is a class
215     B misdemeanor, except under Subsection (3)(a)(ii).
216          (ii) A second or subsequent offense under Subsection (3)(a)(i) is a:
217          (A) class A misdemeanor if all prior violations of this section were committed against
218     adults; and
219          (B) a third degree felony if any prior violation of this section was committed against a
220     minor.
221          (b) (i) Electronic communication harassment committed against a minor is a class A
222     misdemeanor, except under Subsection (3)(b)(ii).
223          (ii) A second or subsequent offense under Subsection (3)(b)(i) is a third degree felony,
224     regardless of whether any prior violation of this section was committed against a minor or an
225     adult.
226          (4) (a) Except under Subsection (4)(b), criminal prosecution under this section does not
227     affect an individual's right to bring a civil action for damages suffered as a result of the
228     commission of any of the offenses under this section.
229          (b) This section does not create any civil cause of action based on electronic
230     communications made for legitimate business purposes.
231          Section 6. Section 76-9-202 is amended to read:
232          76-9-202. Emergency reporting -- Interference -- False report -- Penalties --
233     Reimbursement.
234          (1) As used in this section:
235          (a) "Emergency" means a situation in which property or human life is in jeopardy and
236     the prompt summoning of aid is essential to the preservation of human life or property.
237          (b) "Party line" means a subscriber's line or telephone circuit consisting of two or more
238     main telephone stations that are connected [therewith], and each station [with] has a distinctive
239     ring or telephone number.
240          (2) A person is guilty of emergency reporting abuse if [he] the person:
241          (a) intentionally refuses to yield or surrender the use of a party line or a public pay
242     telephone to another person upon being informed that the telephone is needed to report a fire or
243     summon police, medical, or other aid in case of emergency, unless the telephone is likewise
244     being used for an emergency call;

245          (b) asks for or requests the use of a party line or a public pay telephone on the pretext
246     that an emergency exists, knowing that no emergency exists; [or]
247          (c) reports an emergency or causes an emergency to be reported to any public, private,
248     or volunteer entity whose purpose is to respond to fire, police, or medical emergencies, when
249     the [actor] person knows the reported emergency does not exist[.]; or
250          (d) makes a false report to an emergency response service, including a law enforcement
251     dispatcher or a 911 emergency response service, or intentionally aids, abets, or causes a third
252     party to make the false report, and the false report:
253          (i) describes an ongoing emergency situation that as reported is causing or poses an
254     imminent threat of causing serious bodily injury, serious physical injury, or death; and
255          (ii) states that the emergency situation is occurring at a specified location.
256          (3) (a) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) or (b) is a class C misdemeanor.
257          (b) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a class B misdemeanor, except as provided
258     under Subsection (3)(c).
259          (c) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a second degree felony if the report is regarding a
260     weapon of mass destruction, as defined in Section 76-10-401.
261          (d) A violation of Subsection (2)(d):
262          (i) is a third degree felony; or
263          (ii) is a second degree felony if the emergency responders while acting in response to
264     the report cause physical injury to any resident or other person at the reported location.
265          (4) (a) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, a court shall order any person
266     convicted of a violation of this section to reimburse:
267          (i) any federal, state, or local unit of government, or any private business, organization,
268     individual, or entity for all expenses and losses incurred in responding to the violation[,
269     unless]; and
270          (ii) any person injured under Subsection (3)(d)(ii) for costs for the treatment of any
271     injury, including treatment for psychological injuries caused by the offense.
272          (b) The court may require that the defendant pay less than the reimbursements required
273     under Subsection (4)(a) only if the court states on the record the reasons why the
274     reimbursement would be inappropriate.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel