The Illinois Computer Crime Prevention Law (ILCCP) is a state statutory law that establishes a number of computer-related criminal offenses in the Illinois Criminal Code. Each of the enumerated offenses require that the offender use, damage, or otherwise involve a computer, in the commission of the crime.

Criminal Offenses

The ILCCP criminalizes four separate offenses: computer tampering, aggravated computer tampering, computer fraud, and unlawful use of encryption.

  • Computer fraud involves knowingly accessing a computer with the intent to defraud or obtaining money in connection with a scheme to defraud.
  • Computer tampering requires knowingly and without authorization accessing a computer.
  • Aggravated computer tampering requires computer tampering that (1) interferes or disrupts state or local government vital services or operations; or (2) creates a strong probability of death or great bodily harm.
  • Unlawful use of encryption entails knowingly using encryption to commit; conceal evidence of the commission of; or concealment or protection of the identity of; any criminal offense.

Applicability

Each of the ILCCP criminal offenses involves a computer. The statute defines the term “computer” as a device that accepts, processes, stores, retrieves, or outputs data. This broad definition also includes cloud service storage.

Enforcement & Liability

The Illinois Attorney General is authorized to enforce the criminal offenses in the Illinois Criminal Code, including ILCCP. The computer tampering offense has an express private right of action for individuals harmed by the criminal conduct to pursue a civil action. The prevailing party in the civil lawsuit is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation expenses.

Penalties

Once convicted, an offender may be subject to a sentence of imprisonment based on the offense committed, the value of property involved, and the existence of a prior conviction for a ILCCP criminal offense.