The Ninth Circuit Weighs In on the Scope of Liability Under the CFAA


On April 10, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision en banc in United States of America v. David Nosal, rejecting the notion that employees who breach their employers’ computer use policies by misusing information after it has been properly acquired may be in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”).

In Nosal, the government alleged that employees of executive search firm Korn/Ferry used the company’s computers to access and download confidential information to assist David Nosal (“Nosal”) – a former Korn/Ferry employee – in a competing venture. The employees were authorized to access the information, but disclosure to Nosal violated Korn/Ferry company policy...

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