Misappropriation Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

News & Analysis as of

Recent Decision Widens “Narrow” Door for Use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act against Corporate Insiders

Information security threats come from a variety of sources, including outside hackers and disloyal corporate insiders. One federal statute that may provide a powerful remedy when a company’s defenses are breached and data is...more

Ninth Circuit Vastly Expands Scope of Criminal, Civil Liability for Computer Fraud

In a pair of highly anticipated decisions, the Ninth Circuit significantly reshaped criminal and civil liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The court’s recent decisions in United States v. Nosal...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2016

Employer Is Entitled To Recover $4 Million In Attorney's Fees From EEOC - CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1642 (2016) - The EEOC filed suit against CRST (a trucking company) alleging...more

President Obama Signs Defend Trade Secrets Act

This afternoon, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") into law, creating a new Federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. The new law is the most significant expansion of...more

Federal Court Rejects Employer’s Trade Secret and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

An ex-employee’s former employer sued him for alleged violations of the Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (KUTSA) and the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The first claim was based on the company’s hunch that he...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

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

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

Think Before You Tack CFAA Claims on to Your Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

Before you include a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim in a trade secret case, consider carefully: was the data acquired through “unauthorized access” or was it just misused by the defendants? If it was properly...more

Reducing Your Company’s Exposure to Trade Secret Litigation when Key Employees Come and Go

THE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO - Within the span of two weeks, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wilson, two top managers from your $2 billion corporation, resign. Both managers had complete, unfettered access to your corporation’s trade...more

Federal Court Dismisses Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim That Was Filed Against Our Clients

Here’s a recent victory we obtained on behalf of our clients SunEdison, Inc., et al. The individual defendants (then-current employees of SunPower, Inc.) were alleged to have violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act...more

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Trade Secret Disputes and Employment Risks

In today’s post, we have answered some of the most frequent and significant questions that we are asked about trade secret disputes and employment risks. 1. Could you provide a brief snapshot of current trends in...more

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015: Proposed Legislation Would Open the Federal Courthouse Door for Trade Secret...

In an era where bipartisanship is rarely on display, a group of Senators and members of the House of Representatives from both parties recently joined together to propose the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (S. 1890, H.R....more

Angie’s List Accuses Amazon of Home Improvement Hijinks

Even freed from bricks and mortar, online retailers and service providers are realizing that market share is not infinite. A complaint recently filed by Angie’s List Inc. against Amazon Local LLC for its newly launched online...more

10 Tips for Minimizing Company Liability for Terminating Employees who Steal Trade Secrets

When your company uncovers evidence that an employee misappropriated trade secrets it must act swiftly. The company may want to fire the employee to protect itself from the potentially devastating consequences. But how can...more

Inside Job – Judge Labson Freeman Applies the CFAA Restrictively

Koninklijke Phillips N.V., et. al. v. Elec-Tech Int’l Co., Ltd., et al.,, Case No. 14-cv-02737 (BLF) (March 20, 2015) - Plaintiff Koninklijke Phillips N.V. (Phillips) and its subsidiary Phillips Lumileds Lighting...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

Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms have become an increasingly important means for companies to build and manage their brands and to interact with their customers, in many cases eclipsing companies’ traditional “.com” websites. Social...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

Decisions Highlight Split In Application Of Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

Trade secret claims have historically derived from state common law causes of action and, subsequently, most states’ adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which codifies that common law and generally proscribes the...more

Who Owns a LinkedIn Account? An Update to Eagle v. Edcomm, Inc.

In October 2012, we told you about the case of Eagle v. Edcomm, Inc. pertaining to whether an employee’s LinkedIn account belongs to the employee (Linda Eagle) or to her employer (Edcomm). At that time, the United States...more

Recent Developments In Information Technology Law - First Quarter 2013

Table of Contents: *I. U.S. Supreme Court - A. Trademarks *II. U.S. Courts of Appeal - A. Patents - B. Copyrights - C. Copyrights/Criminal - D. Trademarks - E. Trademarks/Unfair...more

The Rising Threat Of Trade Secrets Theft

One of the drawbacks of a global economy is the rise in trade secret theft. In the absence of a seamless global enforcement infrastructure foreign actors have had little fear of being caught and suffering any consequences. ...more

Recent Cases Address Employer Efforts to Protect Confidential Information

Originally published in SC Bar's Employment and Labor Law Newsletter: Winter 2013 on February 15, 2013 In recent months, both the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over federal cases in North and...more

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