Computer Abuse and Use: How Protected Are You?


If your company policies don’t adequately define employee parameters of computer access as well as usage, then your company may find itself losing to disgruntled employees who take or misuse company data.

Several cases this year exemplify how important it is for employers to continually update and monitor their computer policies.

Earlier this year, the Fourth Circuit limited the criminal and civil protections afforded under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. In WEC Carolina Energy Solutions v. Miller, Mr. Miller, the project director for WEC Carolina Energy Solutions, Inc., resigned his post. Before leaving—but while still employed by WEC—the company claims Mr. Miller downloaded WEC’s proprietary information and used it to pitch a presentation and secure a potential WEC client for his new employer and competing company, Arc Energy Services, Inc. So, WEC sued Mr. Miller, his administrative assistant, and Arc under the CFAA.

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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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