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Where an individual enters a computer facility in an unlawful manner, or for an unlawful purpose, a burglary statute could be applied in the traditional manner. If the accused has entered the facility to damage the computer hardware, steal the software or steal computer time, the mere entering with unlawful intent will be sufficient to prosecute the case. However, where an individual attempts to gain access to the computer's software data in order to steal valuable information (e.g., customer lists, trade secrets, and the like) stored in the computer, prosecuting under a traditional burglary statute could well be futile. Access to the computer could be gained via remote terminals located at one's own home, or via secret telephone codes. Such non-traditional forms of "breaking" and "entering" would not be covered by such a law.
- "Overview" section: Computer Crime: Legislative Resource Manual, at 3.