You Cannot Use the CFAA to Rein in Rogue Employees


Employers in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and South Carolina have lost a potentially powerful method of protecting their electronic secrets from disgruntled employees who download sensitive material and take it with them to a competitor.

Some companies in this situation have sued the ex-employee under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). The CFAA is a criminal statute intended to combat computer hacking, but it allows a civil lawsuit against a person who obtains information from another’s computer “without authorization.” The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held in WEC Carolina Energy Solutions, LLC v. Miller that the CFAA cannot be used where an employee gains access to information appropriately (ie, without hacking) and then misuses this information against company policy.

Please see full article below for more information.

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

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.

© Sands Anderson PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Sands Anderson PC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*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. Or, sign up using your email address.