• A computer will one day be more intelligent than a human being
    • The rate of acceleration in computing technology is high, and computers are already capable of achieving things that are, by some, considered human or more than human.
    • AI and related technologies are advancing exponentially, and technology typically develops in a sigmoid curve. This suggests AI has not reached its peak yet and will continue to advance. Therefore, it is feasible that AI will exceed human intelligence before it peaks.
  • Computer technology is used in various applications, and computers have become an essential part of our daily lives
  • This dependence on computer technology has also created many problems such as cybercrimes, data theft, etc
  • Legal issues include: data theft, corruption of data, identity theft, use of pirated software, fraud and harrassment.
  • These are punishable by law

Computer Misuse Act (1990)

  • It is illegal to make any unauthorised use to computer material:

    • with the intent to commit further offences such as blackmailing
    • with the intent to modify computer material such as distributing malware
  • Computers can be protected from these threats by:

    • using anti-malware software
    • using a firewall to protect from external threats
    • authenticating users with strong credential-based security and using zero-trust permissions
    • Digital signatures or certificates to confirm the identity of the other party during communications
    • SSL to secure connections over networks

Freedom of Information Act (2000)

  • This act ensures that the public receives information held by public authorities such as government departments, local authorities, state schools and police when requested.

  • This act is very useful for journalists and members of the public to scrutinise the work of these public authorities.

  • Public authorities are obliged by this act to publish certain data about what they do

  • Members of the public can request information about the activities of public bodies

  • Secret security information can still be withheld.

Communications Act (2003)

  • It is a crime to
    • Access an internet connection without paying for it
    • Using offensive language in any communication systems such as social media
  • This act aims to protect from stalking and trolling
  • Repeating messages with offensive language such as retweeting offensive messages is also a crime

Data Protection Act (1984,1998,2018)

  • This act protects personal data stored in computer systems. Organisations often collect personal information from users.

  • It is the right of the individual to protect his/her data from unauthorised distribution.

  • This data controller of an organisation is responsible for protecting the personal data of all users.

  • Under the provisions of the Data Protection Act:

    • Data must be obtained fairly and lawfully
    • Data should only be used for the purpose specified to the data protection agency and should not be disclosed to other parties without the necessary permission.
    • Data should be relevant and not excessive
    • Data should be accurate and up to date
    • Data should only be kept for as long as necessary


  • National security, crime, taxation and domestic purposes
  • Any data can be processed in relation to national security, prevent or detect crimes and collection of taxes
  • Data used for individual and household purposes are also exempted from this list
  • Under provisions of this act, intellectual property of an individual or organisation is protected from being copied, modified or distributed.

  • This act provides protection for audio, video, and software intellectual property

  • Peer-to-peer distribution of these files affects the income of copyright owners.

  • CPDA is referred to as “all rights reserved”.

  • Commercial software comes with a license agreement and a license key

  • License agreement defines the terms and conditions on the use of the software

  • License key is essential for accessing the software. This is incorporated to prevent the illegal distribution of software.

  • Although software applications are protected, algorithms are not.

  • If an advanced form of the search algorithm is found, anyone can use it without asking permission.

Creative Commons (CC)

  • Creative Commons, an organisation, issues licenses to owners where the holder may choose to reserve copyrights to some part of work while allowing dew parts to be copyright free.

The Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) - R.I.P.A

  • This act provides a framework based on which public bodies may intercept communications, get access to communications data and surveillance.

  • This act also regulates the use of undercover agents and informers.

  • Due to advancements in encryption of communications data, giving public authorities power to communications data and surveillance helps to avoid and solve crimes.

  • Based on this act, public authorities have powers to:

    • Access communications data of any ISP’s customer in secret in the interest of national security, detecting crimes and safeguarding economic interests of the country.
    • Monitor people’s Internet activities and perform mass surveillance of communications.
    • May demand someone to submit the keys to access protected information.
    • Prevent the existence of interception warrants and any data collected with them being revealed in court.