Ninth Circuit Holds Disloyal Computer Use Is Not A Crime


Are employees who use their workplace computers contrary to the interests of their employers criminals under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said disloyal keyboarding is not a crime in LVRC Holdings v. Brekka. In Brekka, the defendant emailed himself client files while working for the plaintiff. When the employment relationship ended, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant sent himself those files to benefit his competing business. The Ninth Circuit held that an employee’s mere breach of fiduciary duty is not “unauthorized access” under the CFAA. The decision is a welcome restraint on the federal computer crime statute, which has been overused to go after not only disloyal employees, but also people who disobey website terms of service and companies that collect information from publicly accessible websites when the owner wishes they would not.

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.

© Electronic Frontier Foundation | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Electronic Frontier Foundation 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.