Can a Labor Union Be Sued Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for Spamming an Employer's Voice and Email Systems?

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The answer is yes. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week reversed a district court and reinstated a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim brought by an employer against a labor union for “bombarding” the computer systems of its sales and executive offices with emails and voicemails making it impossible for the company to communicate with its customers and vendors. Pulte Homes, Inc v. Laborers’ International Union of North America, 2011 WL 3274014 (6th Cir. Aug 2, 2011). This case is a good example of how the federal Circuit Courts of Appeal are taking control of the interpretation of the scope of the CFAA away from the district courts and applying it expansively to protect computer technology.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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