Intent—Purpose

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Intent—Purpose

The use of the word "purpose" in computer crime laws requires proof that the person charged under those laws had a specific intent to commit a certain type of crime. Language of a statute using "purpose" reflects this requirement. California's statute applies this standard. It provides that "any person who accesses a computer for the purpose of devising any scheme or artifice to defraud is guilty of a public offense."FN43 However, knowingly accessing a computer system without the intent to devise a scheme to defraud would not be a crime under a statute using this language. For example, if a hacker only wanted to look around, not to change data, steal anything, or otherwise disrupt the system, he or she would not be liable under such a provision.