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Is it illegal to break or hack in to someones email?

Answer:
The answer will depend on the charges and all the facts and circumstances involved.  Hacking is the deliberate and unauthorized access, use, disclosure, and/or taking of electronic data on a computer and is covered under federal and varied state criminal statutes.  The computer crime of hacking is committed when a person willfully, knowingly, and without authorization or without reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has such authorization, attempts or achieves access, communication, examination, or modification of data, computer programs, or supporting documentation residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network.   Hacking may also occur when a person willfully, knowingly, and without authorization or without reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has such authorization, destroys data, computer programs, or supporting documentation residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network. Besides the destruction of such data, hacking may also be defined to include the disclosure, use or taking of the data. commits an offense against intellectual property.

Please see the following AK statute:

11.46.740. Criminal use of computer.

(a) A person commits the offense of criminal use of a computer if,
having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe the person
has such a right, the person knowingly accesses, causes to be accessed,
or exceeds the person’s authorized access to a computer, computer
system, computer program, computer network, or any part of a computer
system or network, and, as a result of or in the course of that access,

(1) obtains information concerning a person;

(2) introduces false information into a computer, computer system,
computer program, or comp! uter net work with the intent to damage or
enhance the data record or the financial reputation of a person;

(3) introduces false information into a computer, computer system,
computer program, or computer network and, with criminal negligence,
damages or enhances the data record or the financial reputation of a
person;

(4) obtains proprietary information of another person;

(5) obtains information that is only available to the public for a
fee;

(6) introduces instructions, a computer program, or other information
that tampers with, disrupts, disables, or destroys a computer, computer
system, computer program, computer network, or any part of a computer
system or network; or

(7) encrypts or decrypts data.

(b) In this section, “proprietary information” means scientific,
technical, or commercial information, including a design, process,
procedure, customer list, supplier list, or customer records that the
holder of the information has not made available to the public.

(c) Criminal use of a computer is a class C felony.

There are exceptions dealing with employer/employee situations where the employer may have the right to review company email.


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