Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

News & Analysis as of

Workplace Investigations and Privacy of Electronic Communications

The situation is common enough: an employee is alleged to have engaged in misconduct and, as part of its investigation, the employer decides to search the employee’s company-issued computer for any relevant documents and...more

Companies May Soon Have a New Defense Against Cyber-Attacks

The Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act is a new bill that is gaining positive bipartisan support and significant interest from business communities, lawmakers and academics. The proposed bill amends the Computer Fraud and...more

Federal Computer Hacking Laws Apply to Executive's Unauthorized Access to Coworkers' Emails

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA) were enacted to protect U.S. businesses and individuals from computer hacking and industrial espionage. In recent years, employers and...more

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Company Claims Against Former Executive For Unlawful Access to Email

A terminated executive who accessed co-worker emails in the process of reporting possible company wrongdoing lost his appeal on several grounds. In Brown Jordan Intl, Inc. v. Carmicle, the Eleventh Circuit found that the...more

Cybersecurity, A-Z: A is for Active Cyber Defense

(First in a continuing series.) Active Cyber Defense, or ACD, is a broad category encompassing different kinds of actions that organizations can take to defend against breaches and cyberattacks. The operative word is...more

Dickinson Wright Defends Trek, Inc. – An Industrial Equipment Supplier – Against A Motion To Dismiss Or Transfer

John S.Artz (Member, Troy) and Chelsea M. Smialek (Associate, Washington, D.C.), successfully defended against a motion to dismiss or transfer based on the first-to-file doctrine in a dispute between two suppliers of...more

California District Court Addresses Whistleblower’s Self-Help

In Erhart v. BofI Holding, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-02287, (S.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2017), a bank’s internal auditor reported alleged misconduct to federal agencies, engaged in self-help discovery by appropriating the bank’s...more

NC Business Court: What Is Intrusion Into Seclusion?

I had never heard before of a "privacy tort" claim for "intrusion into seclusion." But it exists in North Carolina per Judge Gale's Opinion in Dishner v. Goneau, 2017 NCBC 7, decided in the NC Business Court this week....more

Unauthorized Computer Access, Without Service Interruption, May Be Cause for Action

In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit has held that an employer need not show an interruption of service to prove actionable harm under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and other federal laws. This is...more

Proskauer Represents Employer Against Former Executive Found Liable for Snooping on Boss’s and Others’ Emails

A former employee of the upscale outdoor furniture designer and manufacturer Brown Jordan recently failed in his bid to pursue whistleblower retaliation claims against the company and also found himself liable for snooping on...more

Arming Employers Against Internal Hackers, the 11th Circuit Clarifies CFAA’s “Loss” Requirement

The Eleventh Circuit ruled last week in a wrongful discharge turned Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) case, spinning the employee’s case against his employer on its head. The facts of Brown Jordan International, Inc. v....more

Top Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2016

Continuing our annual tradition, we present the top developments/headlines for 2016 in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law. Please join us for our first webinar of the New Year on February 2, 2017, at 12:00 p.m....more

You Asked: Can My Employees Hack My Company?

Yes! Employees and other insiders – think Edward Snowden – can, and in fact, do play a role in most data breaches or cyber-security incidents. Companies must ensure their data protection policies include not only training but...more

RFI on Consumer Data Sharing Shows CFPB Interest in Data Aggregators

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or the “Bureau”) has recently expressed interest in how consumer financial information aggregators and financial services companies interact to share and protect financial data...more

Password Sharing Is Not a Crime, Ninth Circuit Reassures in Denial of Nosal’s Request for Rehearing

Since the early days of this blog, we’ve been covering the ongoing legal battle involving ex-Korn Ferry recruiter David Nosal as it winds its way through the courts. The latest chapter in this saga came on December 8, 2016,...more

It’s Easier for Employers to Sue for Data Theft

Why a Ninth Circuit decision and an amendment to the Economic Espionage Act change the landscape. Two new developments this past year have made it easier for employers to sue employees in federal court for stealing data...more

Cybersecurity 2017 – The Year In Preview: Trade Secret Theft Takes Center Stage

Editor’s Note: This is the first of an end-of-year series of posts examining coming trends in cybersecurity. Posts will examine trends in state regulations, federal regulatory authority, the changing nature of the threat...more

When Using a Computer Becomes a Crime, Part Two: ACLU, Facebook Weigh In on Ninth Circuit’s Answer

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) and the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) have weighed in on Facebook’s high-profile dispute with a social media aggregation company over whether it had unlawfully accessed...more

Department Of Justice Releases Charging Policy For Computer Crime Matters

On October 24, 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) publicly released an internal policy memorandum dated September 11, 2014 (“the policy”), that details the factors federal prosecutors should use in determining whether...more

What Underlying Facts are Required to Assert a Valid CFAA Claim Based on “Exceeds Authorized Access” in Georgia?

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) gives rise to an actionable claim if someone “knowingly access[es] a computer without authorization or exceed[s] authorized access.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1). The term “exceeds...more

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Leading Case on Internet Tracking and Analytics

The Supreme Court recently declined to review In re Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation—a consolidated class action alleging that Google and third-party advertisers evaded web browser privacy settings,...more

In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - September, 2016 #4

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: The Hacking Law That Can’t Hack It - For 30 years and counting, courts have struggled with the vagaries of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal law...more

CFPB Sues Credit Repair Company for Misleading Claims and Illegal Fees

On September 22, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against a credit repair company for allegedly making misleading...more

CFPB Files Action Against Credit Repair Company, Seeking Injunction and Penalties

On September 23, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it filed suit against a credit repair company in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, for alleged violations...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Two Recent Decisions Further Definining Liability Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions by which it intends to clarify liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”). The CFAA imposes criminal penalties and...more

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Cybersecurity

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