The Law against Computer-Related Crimes was published on October 30 2001.

The law outlines conduct that is considered to be 'computer crime' with the aim of protecting IT systems, and preventing and punishing crimes committed in relation to (or through the use of) such systems or their components.

'Information technology' is defined as a branch of technology involving data applications and processing.

Advances in information technology have modified the traditional concept of geographical location and caused uncertainty as to the applicable law in cases involving elements of information technology. In addressing these issues, the law states that its provisions apply to crimes committed outside Venezuela, provided that the relevant individual has not been tried already.

The following actions comprise computer crimes under the law:

  • accessing private IT systems;
  • damaging or sabotaging IT systems, their components or information stored therein;
  • possessing equipment for the purpose of sabotaging IT systems or providing the means to sabotage them;
  • computer espionage (ie, obtaining or disclosing information contained in IT systems or their components);
  • forging documents incorporated to IT systems;
  • stealing information through any IT system;
  • inserting false or fraudulent instructions into IT systems, their components or information contained therein;
  • obtaining goods or services through smart cards or analogue instruments belonging to others;
  • stealing, dealing in or fraudulently possessing smart cards or analogue instruments;
  • providing goods or services to those who fraudulently possess or deal in smart cards or analogue instruments;
  • possessing equipment for the purpose of forging smart cards or analogue instruments, or taking possession of the information contained therein;
  • violating the privacy of personal communications or information stored in IT systems;
  • disclosing another's personal information through IT systems;
  • displaying adult material through IT systems without warning the user that access by minors must be restricted;
  • displaying child pornography, or using minors or their images for pornographic purposes in any manner that involves IT systems;
  • taking possession of another's intellectual property through IT systems; and
  • making false offers through IT systems with potentially negative consequences for consumers.

For further information on this topic please contact Ira S Vergani at D'Empaire Reyna Bermudez Abogados by telephone (+58 212 264 6244) or by fax (+58 212 264 7543) or by email ([email protected]).