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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 815
COMPUTER-RELATED CRIMES
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CHAPTER 815
CHAPTER 815
COMPUTER-RELATED CRIMES
815.01 Short title.
815.02 Legislative intent.
815.03 Definitions.
815.04 Offenses against intellectual property; public records exemption.
815.045 Trade secret information.
815.06 Offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices.
815.061 Offenses against public utilities.
815.07 This chapter not exclusive.
815.01 Short title.The provisions of this act shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Computer Crimes Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 78-92.
815.02 Legislative intent.The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) Computer-related crime is a growing problem in government as well as in the private sector.
(2) Computer-related crime occurs at great cost to the public since losses for each incident of computer crime tend to be far greater than the losses associated with each incident of other white collar crime.
(3) The opportunities for computer-related crimes in financial institutions, government programs, government records, and other business enterprises through the introduction of fraudulent records into a computer system, the unauthorized use of computer facilities, the alteration or destruction of computerized information or files, and the stealing of financial instruments, data, and other assets are great.
(4) The proliferation of new technology has led to the integration of computer systems in most sectors of the marketplace through the creation of computer networks, greatly extending the reach of computer crime.
(5) While various forms of computer crime might possibly be the subject of criminal charges based on other provisions of law, it is appropriate and desirable that a supplemental and additional statute be provided which proscribes various forms of computer abuse.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-92; s. 2, ch. 2014-208.
815.03 Definitions.As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) “Access” means to approach, instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve data from, or otherwise make use of any resources of a computer, computer system, or computer network.
(2) “Computer” means an internally programmed, automatic device that performs data processing.
(3) “Computer contaminant” means any set of computer instructions designed to modify, damage, destroy, record, or transmit information within a computer, computer system, or computer network without the intent or permission of the owner of the information. The term includes, but is not limited to, a group of computer instructions, commonly called viruses or worms, which are self-replicating or self-propagating and which are designed to contaminate other computer programs or computer data; consume computer resources; modify, destroy, record, or transmit data; or in some other fashion usurp or interfere with the normal operation of the computer, computer system, or computer network.
(4) “Computer network” means a system that provides a medium for communication between one or more computer systems or electronic devices, including communication with an input or output device such as a display terminal, printer, or other electronic equipment that is connected to the computer systems or electronic devices by physical or wireless telecommunication facilities.
(5) “Computer program or computer software” means a set of instructions or statements and related data which, when executed in actual or modified form, cause a computer, computer system, or computer network to perform specified functions.
(6) “Computer services” include, but are not limited to, computer time; data processing or storage functions; or other uses of a computer, computer system, or computer network.
(7) “Computer system” means a device or collection of devices, including support devices, one or more of which contain computer programs, electronic instructions, or input data and output data, and which perform functions, including, but not limited to, logic, arithmetic, data storage, retrieval, communication, or control. The term does not include calculators that are not programmable and that are not capable of being used in conjunction with external files.
(8) “Data” means a representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts, computer software, computer programs, or instructions. Data may be in any form, in storage media or stored in the memory of the computer, or in transit or presented on a display device.
(9) “Electronic device” means a device or a portion of a device that is designed for and capable of communicating across a computer network with other computers or devices for the purpose of transmitting, receiving, or storing data, including, but not limited to, a cellular telephone, tablet, or other portable device designed for and capable of communicating with or across a computer network and that is actually used for such purpose.
(10) “Financial instrument” means any check, draft, money order, certificate of deposit, letter of credit, bill of exchange, credit card, or marketable security.
(11) “Intellectual property” means data, including programs.
(12) “Property” means anything of value as defined in s. 812.012 and includes, but is not limited to, financial instruments, information, including electronically produced data and computer software and programs in machine-readable or human-readable form, and any other tangible or intangible item of value.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-92; s. 9, ch. 2001-54; s. 4, ch. 2010-117; s. 3, ch. 2014-208.
815.04 Offenses against intellectual property; public records exemption.
(1) A person who willfully, knowingly, and without authorization introduces a computer contaminant or modifies or renders unavailable data, programs, or supporting documentation residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device commits an offense against intellectual property.
(2) A person who willfully, knowingly, and without authorization destroys data, programs, or supporting documentation residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device commits an offense against intellectual property.
(3) Data, programs, or supporting documentation that is a trade secret as defined in s. 812.081, that is held by an agency as defined in chapter 119, and that resides or exists internal or external to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(4) A person who willfully, knowingly, and without authorization discloses or takes data, programs, or supporting documentation that is a trade secret as defined in s. 812.081 or is confidential as provided by law residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device commits an offense against intellectual property.
(5)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an offense against intellectual property is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) If the offense is committed for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or to obtain any property, the person commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6) Subsections (3) and (4) are subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-92; s. 1, ch. 94-100; s. 431, ch. 96-406; s. 1, ch. 2014-177; s. 4, ch. 2014-208.
815.045 Trade secret information.The Legislature finds that it is a public necessity that trade secret information as defined in s. 812.081, and as provided for in s. 815.04(3), be expressly made confidential and exempt from the public records law because it is a felony to disclose such records. Due to the legal uncertainty as to whether a public employee would be protected from a felony conviction if otherwise complying with chapter 119, and with s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, it is imperative that a public records exemption be created. The Legislature in making disclosure of trade secrets a crime has clearly established the importance attached to trade secret protection. Disclosing trade secrets in an agency’s possession would negatively impact the business interests of those providing an agency such trade secrets by damaging them in the marketplace, and those entities and individuals disclosing such trade secrets would hesitate to cooperate with that agency, which would impair the effective and efficient administration of governmental functions. Thus, the public and private harm in disclosing trade secrets significantly outweighs any public benefit derived from disclosure, and the public’s ability to scrutinize and monitor agency action is not diminished by nondisclosure of trade secrets.
History.s. 2, ch. 94-100.
Note.Former s. 119.165.
815.06 Offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices.
(1) As used in this section, the term “user” means a person with the authority to operate or maintain a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device.
(2) A person commits an offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, or electronic devices if he or she willfully, knowingly, and without authorization:
(a) Accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device with knowledge that such access is unauthorized;
(b) Disrupts or denies or causes the denial of the ability to transmit data to or from an authorized user of a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device, which, in whole or in part, is owned by, under contract to, or operated for, on behalf of, or in conjunction with another;
(c) Destroys, takes, injures, or damages equipment or supplies used or intended to be used in a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device;
(d) Destroys, injures, or damages any computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device;
(e) Introduces any computer contaminant into any computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device; or
(f) Engages in audio or video surveillance of an individual by accessing any inherent feature or component of a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device, including accessing the data or information of a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device that is stored by a third party.
(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), a person who violates subsection (2) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) A person commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if he or she violates subsection (2) and:
1. Damages a computer, computer equipment or supplies, a computer system, or a computer network and the damage or loss is at least $5,000;
2. Commits the offense for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or obtain property;
3. Interrupts or impairs a governmental operation or public communication, transportation, or supply of water, gas, or other public service; or
4. Intentionally interrupts the transmittal of data to or from, or gains unauthorized access to, a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device belonging to any mode of public or private transit, as defined in s. 341.031.
(c) A person who violates subsection (2) commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the violation:
1. Endangers human life; or
2. Disrupts a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device that affects medical equipment used in the direct administration of medical care or treatment to a person.
(4) A person who willfully, knowingly, and without authorization modifies equipment or supplies used or intended to be used in a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5)(a) In addition to any other civil remedy available, the owner or lessee of the computer, computer system, computer network, computer program, computer equipment or supplies, electronic device, or computer data may bring a civil action against a person convicted under this section for compensatory damages.
(b) In an action brought under this subsection, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.
(6) A computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer data, or electronic device owned by a defendant that is used during the commission of a violation of this section or a computer or electronic device owned by the defendant that is used as a repository for the storage of software or data obtained in violation of this section is subject to forfeiture as provided under ss. 932.701-932.704.
(7) This section does not apply to a person who:
(a) Acts pursuant to a search warrant or to an exception to a search warrant authorized by law;
(b) Acts within the scope of his or her lawful employment; or
(c) Performs authorized security operations of a government or business.
(8) For purposes of bringing a civil or criminal action under this section, a person who causes, by any means, the access to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device in one jurisdiction from another jurisdiction is deemed to have personally accessed the computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device in both jurisdictions.
(9) This chapter does not impose liability on a provider of an interactive computer service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 230(f), information service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 153, or communications service as defined in s. 202.11 that provides the transmission, storage, or caching of electronic communications or messages of others; other related telecommunications or commercial mobile radio service; or content provided by another person.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-92; s. 11, ch. 2001-54; s. 5, ch. 2014-208.
815.061 Offenses against public utilities.
(1) As used in this section, the term “public utility” includes:
(a) A public utility or electric utility as defined in s. 366.02.
(b) A utility as defined in s. 367.021.
(c) A natural gas transmission company as defined in s. 368.103.
(d) A person, corporation, partnership, association, public agency, municipality, cooperative, gas district, or other legal entity and their lessees, trustees, or receivers, now or hereafter owning, operating, managing, or controlling gas transmission or distribution facilities or any other facility supplying or storing natural or manufactured gas or liquefied gas with air admixture or any similar gaseous substances by pipeline to or for the public within this state.
(e) A separate legal entity created under s. 163.01 and composed of any of the entities described in this subsection for the purpose of providing utility services in this state, including wholesale power and electric transmission services.
(2) A person may not willfully, knowingly, and without authorization:
(a) Gain access to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device owned, operated, or used by a public utility while knowing that such access is unauthorized.
(b) Physically tamper with, insert a computer contaminant into, or otherwise transmit commands or electronic communications to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device that causes a disruption in any service delivered by a public utility.
(3)(a) A person who violates paragraph (2)(a) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) A person who violates paragraph (2)(b) commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 6, ch. 2014-208.
815.07 This chapter not exclusive.The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to preclude the applicability of any other provision of the criminal law of this state which presently applies or may in the future apply to any transaction which violates this chapter, unless such provision is inconsistent with the terms of this chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-92.