Suing Employees for Computer Fraud Gets Easier


Four recent decisions handed down by four different federal courts of appeals during the past year have, in combination, greatly enhanced the ability of businesses to use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) as a tool to protect competitively sensitive data and personal information stored in company computers. The CFAA is the federal computer crime statute that permits companies that have been victimized by theft or destruction of data to file a civil action against the perpetrator for damages and injunctive relief. 18 U.S.C. 1030(g).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit settled the issue of an employer’s ability to use the CFAA against employees, although just last week it granted an en banc rehearing of its decision; the 6th Circuit permitted the statute to be used against a labor union that shut down an employer’s computer system through a massive spam attack; the 3d Circuit broadened the definition of unauthorized access to the company computer to mean accessing without a business purpose; and the 8th Circuit expanded the definition of what it means to obtain information from the computer to include the simple viewing of data as opposed to physically taking or copying data.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

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.

© Nick Akerman, Dorsey & Whitney LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.