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

Nosal Returns to the Ninth Circuit Posing the Question: Is a Password a Sufficient “Technological Access Barrier” Under the CFAA?

Observers following the legal issues surrounding the prosecution of David Nosal will be watching closely in 2015 as the former Korn Ferry executive returns to the Ninth Circuit to appeal his 2013 conviction on three counts of...more

Consent is Key for BYOD

With Black Friday behind us and holiday shopping still heating up, ‘tis the season when many of us will acquire new gadgets and technology to power our digitally-enhanced lives. For businesses, this time of year also means...more

QVC Sues Shopping App for Web Scraping That Allegedly Triggered Site Outage

Operators of public-facing websites are typically concerned about the unauthorized, technology-based extraction of large volumes of information from their sites, often by competitors or others in related businesses. The...more

Employer Wins Dismissal of Federal Claims for Wiping Data from Terminated Employee’s Smart Phone

In one of the first reported cases of its kind, a federal district court in Texas recently dismissed federal claims brought under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) and the Consumer Fraud & Abuse Act (“CFAA”)...more

TRO LLC – GET IT? Sprung From Prison, Hacker Creates Hedge Fund That Shorts Stocks Of Companies With Security Vulnerabilities

Self-proclaimed Internet troll and hacker Andrew “weev” Auernheimer has big plans now that he’s been sprung from prison. We identified Auernheimer’s imprisonment and appeal as one of the top trade secret stories of...more

The CFAA Does Not Apply To Facebook Photo Theft

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1030 et seq, is a criminal statute that forbids, among other things, "intentionally access[ing] a protected computer, without authorization" when the access...more

Common Flaws in Computer Fraud Class Actions: Lawsuits claiming unauthorized use of smartphone tracking technology are lacking key...

A number of class actions have recently been filed in federal district courts, predicated, in part, on alleged violations of the federal computer crime statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, complaining of tracking...more

Federal Court Ruling in Pa. Narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge has tossed an employer’s claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), holding that the CFAA does not extend to punish employees for the misuse of information that was accessed...more

Access Of Computer System With Log-In Credentials Is Not Unlawful “Hacking”

A California federal court in Enki Corporation v. Freedman held that a former employee’s access of the employer’s computer systems through his log-in credentials did not amount to unlawful hacking under either the Computer...more

Fourth Circuit Limits Scope of Employers’ Claims Under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In July 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an important decision limiting the claims employers can bring against disloyal current and former employees under the federal Computer Fraud and...more

David Nosal, Employee Data Theft, and Why Employment Lawyers Should Understand Their Clients' IT Infrastructure

Earlier this month, a federal judge in San Francisco sentenced David Nosal to a year in prison, three years’ supervised release, 400 hours of community service, and $60,000 in fines. His crime? Nosal violated the Computer...more

Can Violating Social Media Terms of Use Make You Guilty of Violating the CFAA?

LinkedIn has filed a suit against John Does in response to a spate of “data scraping” perpetrated by unknown individuals, in violation of the website’s terms and conditions.This is the latest federal case in the Northern...more

A Weapon Against Hackers on the Home Front

Although headlines have focused on foreign cyberattacks, plenty are U.S.-based—and can be remedied. Over the past year the national press has repeatedly reported on the vulner­ability of our intellectual property to...more

A Weapon Against Hackers on Home Front

Over the past year the national press has repeatedly reported on the vulner­ability of our intellectual property to nation-state hackers like China, which have reportedly accessed and stolen highly con­fidential data by...more

BREAKING: David Nosal Sentenced To Prison On CFAA Computer Intrusion And Trade Secret Charges

Former Korn/Ferry recruiter David Nosal was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on Wednesday for violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act. In April, a federal jury in...more

Hacking Back: For Now, Be Vigilant Rather Than a Vigilante

In the cyber-security world, "hacking back" – using hacker-like techniques to defend a company's IT systems by going on the offensive and instituting countermeasures to cyberattacks -- is generating much buzz. For example,...more

Botnet ZeroAccess Hit With Complaint by Microsoft, but Will This Slow the Malware Industry Down?

ZeroAccess is one of the world’s largest botnets – a network of computers infected with malware to trigger online fraud. Recently, after having eluded investigators for months, ZeroAccess was disrupted by Microsoft and law...more

Let The Chips Fall Where They May: Nevada Court Dismisses CFAA Charges Against Casino Players Who Cashed In On Video Poker...

Hollywood has given us many stories of casino capers, from mobsters skimming profits in Scorsese’s Casino to the card-counting savant in Rain Man. But a real-life caper recently played itself out in Nevada federal court,...more

No Expansion of CFAA Liability for Monetary Exploit of Software Bug

In the game Monopoly, lucky players landing on Community Chest might turn over the highly desirable “Bank Error in Your Favor, Collect $200? card. By the next turn, the proceeds are usually invested in properties and houses,...more

Delaware Federal Court Holds No Harm From Third-Party Cookies’ Collection Of Personal Information, Dismisses Broad Consumer...

On October 9, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed a broad, consolidated action against an Internet company alleged to have circumvented an Internet browser’s cookie blocker to collect personally...more

Don’t Do the Crime If You Can’t Do The Time: Top 10 Criminal Trade Secret Sentences

Trade secret theft can expose defendants not only to multi-million dollar civil verdicts but also to multi-year prison sentences. Trade Secrets Watch reviewed federal criminal trade secrets sentences since the Economic...more

Website Operator Permitted to Revoke Access of Previously Authorized User Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (18 U.S.C. § 1030) levies penalties on a person who "intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains... information from any...more

Give And Take: Lofgren’s Twin Trade Secret Bills Would Curtail Actions Under One Law, Expand Them Under Another

When Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the Silicon Valley Democrat, introduced a pair of bills last month on trade secret misappropriation, we puzzled over her purpose. ...more

Recent Developments In Information Technology Law – Second Quarter 2013

In This Issue: - I. U.S. Supreme Court - A. Trademarks 3 - II. U.S. Courts of Appeal - A. Patents - B. Copyrights - C. Copyrights/Criminal - D. Trademarks - E. Trademarks/Unfair Trade...more

Seventh Circuit Upholds Privacy Class Action under Federal Law

In a notable decision that may lead to an increase in privacy class actions under federal law, the Seventh Circuit in Harris v. comScore, Inc. upheld the certification of a class action for alleged privacy violations under...more

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