Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a United States federal statue enacted in 1986 intended to reduce malicious interference with computer systems and prevent data theft. The CFAA can be violated in one of two... more +
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a United States federal statue enacted in 1986 intended to reduce malicious interference with computer systems and prevent data theft. The CFAA can be violated in one of two ways: 1) trespassing into a computer system in which one has no authorization or 2) exceeding the scope of one's authorization within a computer system. less -
News & Analysis as of

Get Off My Cloud: “BYOC” Workplaces Pose Trade Secrets Risks

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about “BYOD” (“Bring Your Own Device”) policies, which are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. Employees want the flexibility and ease that comes with being able to use a...more

Criminal Sanctions in a Trade Secret Dispute

Just a few days after the Major League Baseball season opens next month, former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa will attend a sentencing hearing where he faces to up to five years in prison, a $250,000...more

A Closer Look at Cybersecurity Legislation and Regulations in the US and Abroad - United States

Legal Framework - Summarise the main statutes and regulations that promote cybersecurity. Does your jurisdiction have dedicated cybersecurity laws? The United States generally addresses cybersecurity...more

Recent Decision Highlights Important Pleading Requirements for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

Ever since Iqbal and Twombly, it has become imperative that a complaint filed in federal court contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v....more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Not Violated Unless Plaintiff Shows Defendant Had Intent To Defraud

In a recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s conclusion that the plaintiff had produced no evidence refuting the defendant’s contention that it honestly...more

Sanctions for Bringing a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim?

Federal courts have continued to disagree on whether the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act ("CFAA") applies to employees who misuse confidential information or trade secrets obtained from an employer's computer system that the...more

Top 10 Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Developments

There were several noteworthy developments in 2015 in the area of trade secrets and unfair competition. This post focuses on developments affecting California employers. Due to the unsettled nature of some of the law, this...more

SCOTUS upholds Computer Fraud and Abuse Act conviction

The Supreme Court of the United States held on January 25, 2016, that an executive of a shipping company who hacked into his former employer’s computer system after he left the company was guilty under the Computer Fraud and...more

Breaking News: Hacker’s Conviction Affirmed Despite Lower Court’s Error

This week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act despite the Court’s acknowledgement that the jury had been wrongfully instructed on the elements of the crime charged. ...more

Supreme Court Issues CFAA decision in Michael Musacchio v. United States

On Monday, January 25th, the Supreme Court issued the most recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act decision in Michael Musacchio v. United States. After leaving his employer to start his own company, the defendant (a former...more

Feds focus on damage to computers as basis for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prosecution

Last week, a federal judge sentenced Yijia Zhang, a computer systems manager, to 31 months in federal prison for transferring thousands of his employer’s electronic files to European storage sites. The case highlights the...more

Ninth Circuit Poised to Address the “Without Authorization” Debate under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Action Again

Imagine if you could manage all of your social media platforms on one app. Believe it or not, there was an app for that (or, at least a website), created by a company named Power Ventures (“Power”). Back in 2008, Power...more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Update: Second Circuit Sides with a Narrower Reading

The controversy over what is a “computer crime” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is now settled for New York, Connecticut and Vermont. In a case we have been watching on the blog for months, United States v....more

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy and E-Discovery and Information Management: Second Circuit Draws Line Between Employees and Hackers...

Employers in New York face a heightened hurdle to holding employees legally accountable for theft and other misuse of company data after the Second Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Valle. The Court has held that...more

The “Cannibal Cop” and Protection of Computerized Data

In an unusual criminal case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in on an important question at the intersection of employment law and data security. The decision will likely have implications wherever...more

“Don’t Go There”: Second Circuit Makes it Harder to Bring Claims against Former Employees who Take Company Information without...

On December 3, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the most recent entrant into the circuit conflict on the question of when and under what circumstances an employee’s use of a computer to gain access to unauthorized...more

"Don’t Go There": Second Circuit Makes it Harder to Bring Claims against Former Employees who Take Company Information without...

On December 3, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the most recent entrant into the circuit conflict on the question of when and under what circumstances an employee’s use of a computer to gain access to unauthorized...more

Revival of Cookie Litigation Highlights Risks Associated with Mobile Tracking Technologies

On November 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revived several privacy claims against Google pertaining to the Internet company’s practice of side-stepping “cookie blockers” on Microsoft’s Internet...more

Cookies, Promises, and California: Why the 3rd Circuit Revived Privacy Claims Against Google

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revived several privacy claims against Google pertaining to the Internet company’s practice of side-stepping “cookie blockers” on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and...more

Court Orders Defendant’s Wife to Produce iPhone for Forensic Examination (California)

Brown Jordan Int'l Inc. v. Carmicle, 2015 WL 6142885 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 19, 2015) - In this breach of contract and fiduciary duty case, the plaintiffs sued the defendant for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in United States v. Nosal, Part II

On October 20, 2015, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Round II of United States v. David Nosal. Both sides generally stuck with arguments from their briefs, with Nosal’s counsel arguing that...more

Is It Ever Okay to Share Passwords?

If you’ve ever let your kids sign into your Netflix or HBO Go account, or given your marketing department access to your Twitter feed, you may be committing a federal crime, depending on how the Ninth Circuit rules on a case...more

Will The CFAA, An Old Anti-Hacking Law, Apply To Password Sharing?

David Nosal, an ex-employee of Korn Ferry International (“KFI”), convinced some of his former colleagues to download source lists from KFI using their log-in credentials and the log-in credentials of another employee. In...more

Time Is Precious with Computer-Hacking Claims

A recent ruling shows that plaintiffs must act fast when using a federal criminal statute for a civil suit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in August addressed the proper application of the statute of...more

Employees and “Authorized Access”: A Threat from Within?

Workplace privacy has become an increasingly challenging issue for employees and employers alike. With technological advancements, employers have enhanced visibility into employee behavior including their use of company...more

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