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CITE

    18 USC Sec. 2701                                            01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 121 - STORED WIRE AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND
                   TRANSACTIONAL RECORDS ACCESS

HEAD

    Sec. 2701. Unlawful access to stored communications

STATUTE

      (a) Offense. - Except as provided in subsection (c) of this
    section whoever -
        (1) intentionally accesses without authorization a facility
      through which an electronic communication service is provided; or
        (2) intentionally exceeds an authorization to access that
      facility;
    and thereby obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a
    wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage
    in such system shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of
    this section.
      (b) Punishment. - The punishment for an offense under subsection
    (a) of this section is -
        (1) if the offense is committed for purposes of commercial
      advantage, malicious destruction or damage, or private commercial
      gain, or in furtherance of any criminal or tortious act in
      violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or any
      State -
          (A) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than
        5 years, or both, in the case of a first offense under this
        subparagraph; and
          (B) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than
        10 years, or both, for any subsequent offense under this
        subparagraph; and
        (2) in any other case -
          (A) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than
        1 year or both, in the case of a first offense under this
        paragraph; and
          (B) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than
        5 years, or both, in the case of an offense under this
        subparagraph that occurs after a conviction of another offense
        under this section.
      (c) Exceptions. - Subsection (a) of this section does not apply
    with respect to conduct authorized -
        (1) by the person or entity providing a wire or electronic
      communications service;
        (2) by a user of that service with respect to a communication
      of or intended for that user; or
        (3) in section 2703, 2704 or 2518 of this title.

SOURCE

    (Added Pub. L. 99-508, title II, Sec. 201[(a)], Oct. 21, 1986, 100
    Stat. 1860; amended Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec.
    330016(1)(K), (U), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147, 2148; Pub. L.
    104-294, title VI, Sec. 601(a)(3), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3498;
    Pub. L. 107-296, title II, Sec. 225(j)(2), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat.
    2158.)

AMENDMENTS

      2002 - Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 107-296, Sec. 225(j)(2)(A), in
    introductory provisions, inserted ", or in furtherance of any
    criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws
    of the United States or any State" after "commercial gain".
      Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 107-296, Sec. 225(j)(2)(B),
    substituted "5 years" for "one year".
      Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 107-296, Sec. 225(j)(2)(C),
    substituted "10 years" for "two years".
      Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 107-296, Sec. 225(j)(2)(D), added par.
    (2) and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: "a fine
    under this title or imprisonment for not more than six months, or
    both, in any other case."
      1996 - Subsec. (b)(1)(A), (2). Pub. L. 104-294 substituted "fine
    under this title" for "fine of under this title".
      1994 - Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(U),
    substituted "under this title" for "not more than $250,000".
      Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(K), substituted
    "under this title" for "not more than $5,000".
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2002 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 107-296 effective 60 days after Nov. 25,
    2002, see section 4 of Pub. L. 107-296, set out as an Effective
    Date note under section 101 of Title 6, Domestic Security.
                              EFFECTIVE DATE
      Section 202 of title II of Pub. L. 99-508 provided that: "This
    title and the amendments made by this title [enacting this chapter]
    shall take effect ninety days after the date of the enactment of
    this Act [Oct. 21, 1986] and shall, in the case of conduct pursuant
    to a court order or extension, apply only with respect to court
    orders or extensions made after this title takes effect."
                       SHORT TITLE OF 1988 AMENDMENT
      Pub. L. 100-618, Sec. 1, Nov. 5, 1988, 102 Stat. 3195, provided
    that: "This Act [enacting section 2710 of this title and
    renumbering former section 2710 as 2711 of this title] may be cited
    as the 'Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988'."
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