CFAA: Home Field Advantage to Protect Your Business Secrets


No matter what the game, you want the home field advantage. That's true even when you're prosecuting a lawsuit against an ex-employee who took your business secrets. You'd often rather be in federal court. And your employee manual may let you clinch that advantage.

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA") could be your ticket to federal court. The CFAA imposes civil and criminal liability on folks who exceed "authorized access" to protected computers. Several federal courts, including the Fifth Circuit that covers Texas, say the CFAA comes into play when your employees violate your written computer use policies to steal or misuse your business secrets. That federal claim can land you in federal court.

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