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031817720
HOUSE BILL NO. 2290
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee for Courts of Justice
on January 31, 2003)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Devolites)
A BILL to amend and reenact 18.2-152.2 and 18.2-152.12 of the Code of Virginia and by adding in Article 7.1 of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2 a section numbered 18.2-152.16 relating to spam, computer crimes, civil relief and damages; forfeitures.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 18.2-152.2 and 18.2-152.12 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted, and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 7.1 of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2 a section numbered 18.2-152.16 as follows:

18.2-152.2. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

"Computer" means an electronic, magnetic, optical, hydraulic or organic device or group of devices which, pursuant to a computer program, to human instruction, or to permanent instructions contained in the device or group of devices, can automatically perform computer operations with or on computer data and can communicate the results to another computer or to a person. The term "computer" includes any connected or directly related device, equipment, or facility which enables the computer to store, retrieve or communicate computer programs, computer data or the results of computer operations to or from a person, another computer or another device.

"Computer data" means any representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts, or instructions which is being prepared or has been prepared and is intended to be processed, is being processed, or has been processed in a computer or computer network. "Computer data" may be in any form, whether readable only by a computer or only by a human or by either, including, but not limited to, computer printouts, magnetic storage media, punched cards, or stored internally in the memory of the computer.

"Computer network" means two2 or more computers connected by a network.

"Computer operation" means arithmetic, logical, monitoring, storage or retrieval functions and any combination thereof, and includes, but is not limited to, communication with, storage of data to, or retrieval of data from any device or human hand manipulation of electronic or magnetic impulses. A "computer operation" for a particular computer may also be any function for which that computer was generally designed.

"Computer program" means an ordered set of data representing coded instructions or statements that, when executed by a computer, causes the computer to perform one1 or more computer operations.

"Computer services" means computer time or services, including data processing services, Internet services, electronic mail services, electronic message services, or information or data stored in connection therewith.

"Computer software" means a set of computer programs, procedures and associated documentation concerned with computer data or with the operation of a computer, computer program, or computer network.

"Electronic mail service provider" (EMSP) means any person who (i) is an intermediary in sending or receiving electronic mail and (ii) provides to end-users of electronic mail services the ability to send or receive electronic mail.

"Financial instrument" includes, but is not limited to, any check, draft, warrant, money order, note, certificate of deposit, letter of credit, bill of exchange, credit or debit card, transaction authorization mechanism, marketable security, or any computerized representation thereof.

"Network" means any combination of digital transmission facilities and packet switches, routers, and similar equipment interconnected to enable the exchange of computer data.

"Owner" means an owner or lessee of a computer or a computer network or an owner, lessee, or licensee of computer data, computer programs, or computer software.

"Person" shall include any individual, partnership, association, corporation or joint venture.

"Property" shall include:

1. Real property;

2. Computers and computer networks;

3. Financial instruments, computer data, computer programs, computer software and all other personal property regardless of whether they are:

a. Tangible or intangible;

b. In a format readable by humans or by a computer;

c. In transit between computers or within a computer network or between any devices which comprise a computer; or

d. Located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a computer or by a human; and

4. Computer services.

A person "uses" a computer or computer network when he:

1. Attempts attempts to cause or causes through his own actions or the actions of another:

1. aA computer or computer network to perform or to stop performing computer operations;

2. Attempts to cause or causes theThe withholding or denial of the use of a computer, computer network, computer program, computer data or computer software to another user; or

3. Attempts to cause or causes anotherA person to put false information into a computer.

A person is "without authority" when (i) he has no right or permission of the owner to use a computer or computer network or he uses a computer or computer network in a manner exceeding such right or permission or (ii) he uses a computer, a computer network, or the computer services of an electronic mail service provider to transmit unsolicited bulk electronic mail in contravention of the authority granted by or in violation of the policies set by the electronic mail service provider. Transmission of electronic mail from an organization to its members shall not be deemed to be unsolicited bulk electronic mail.

18.2-152.12. Civil relief; damages.

A. Any person whose property or person is injured by reason of a violation of any provision of this article may sue therefor and recover for any damages sustained and the costs of suit. Without limiting the generality of the term, "damages" shall include loss of profits.

B. If the injury arises from the transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail in contravention of the authority granted by or in violation of the policies set by the electronic mail service provider where the defendant has knowledge of the authority or policies of the EMSP or where the authority or policies of the EMSP are available on the electronic mail service provider's website, the injured person, other than an electronic mail service provider, may also recover attorneys' fees and costs, and may elect, in lieu of actual damages, to recover the lesser of ten dollars $10 for each and every unsolicited bulk electronic mail message transmitted in violation of this article, or $25,000 per day. The injured person shall not have a cause of action against the electronic mail service provider which that merely transmits the unsolicited bulk electronic mail over its computer network. Transmission of electronic mail from an organization to its members shall not be deemed to be unsolicited bulk electronic mail.

C. If the injury arises from the transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail in contravention of the authority granted by or in violation of the policies set by the electronic mail service provider where the defendant has knowledge of the authority or policies of the EMSP or where the authority or policies of the EMSP are available on the electronic mail service provider's website, an injured electronic mail service provider may also recover attorneys' fees and costs, and may elect, in lieu of actual damages, to recover the greater of ten dollars $1 for each and every intended recipient of an unsolicited bulk electronic mail message transmitted in violation of this article, or $25,000 per day where the intended recipient is an end user of the EMSP or $25,000 for each day an attempt is made to transmit an unsolicited bulk electronic mail message to an end user of the EMSP. In calculating the statutory damages under this provision, the court may adjust the amount awarded as necessary, but in doing so shall take into account the number of complaints to the EMSP generated by the defendant's messages, the defendant's degree of culpability, the defendant's prior history of such conduct, and the extent of economic gain resulting from the conduct. Transmission of electronic mail from an organization to its members shall not be deemed to be unsolicited bulk electronic mail.

D. At the request of any party to an action brought pursuant to this section, the court may, in its discretion, conduct all legal proceedings in such a way as to protect the secrecy and security of the computer, computer network, computer data, computer program and computer software involved in order to prevent possible recurrence of the same or a similar act by another person and to protect any trade secrets of any party and in such a way as to protect the privacy of nonparties who complain about violations of this section.

E. The provisions of this article shall not be construed to limit any person's right to pursue any additional civil remedy otherwise allowed by law.

F. A civil action under this section must be commenced before expiration of the time period prescribed in 8.01-40.1. In actions alleging injury arising from the transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail, personal jurisdiction may be exercised pursuant to 8.01-328.1.

18.2-152.16. Forfeitures for violation of this chapter.

All moneys and other income, including all proceeds earned but not yet received by a defendant from a third party as a result of the defendant's violations of this chapter, all computer equipment, all computer software, and all personal property used in connection with any violation of this chapter shall be subject to lawful seizure by a law-enforcement officer and forfeiture by the Commonwealth in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 22.1 ( 19.2-386.1 et seq.) of Title 19.2, applied mutatis mutandis.


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