Sixth Circuit Affirms Employee’s Conviction Under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act


Court offers little insight into the ongoing debate over whether the CFAA applies to an alleged faithless employee.

Not long ago, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of an employee under the CFAA in United States v. Roberto Rodriguez. In that case, the Eleventh Circuit took on the question of whether an employee "exceeds authorized access" under the CFAA by accessing information on a computer in a manner contrary to an employer's written policies. The answer according to the Eleventh Circuit: Yes.

A few days ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit weighed in on the debate without offering much insight into its thought process. In United States v. Batti, the Sixth Circuit upheld a conviction under the CFAA of an information technology employee, Luay Batti, accused of stealing confidential data from and using his employer’s computers. According to the appellate court’s decision, Batti accessed his employer's computer systems and copied confidential electronically stored information belonging to the Chief Executive Officer. The electronically stored information contained information regarding executive compensation, financial data and strategic business plans.

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