Unauthorized Access

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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

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

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

Controversial Federal Court Ruling Could Shape Future of Computer Trespass Prosecution

In a controversial decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that it is a federal crime to access a website after being specifically instructed not to by the site’s owner. The court ruled largely in...more

Ninth Circuit Rules on Meaning of “Without Authorization” under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Last month, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the criminal conviction of an individual for accessing a computer “without authorization” in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). U.S. v. Nosal (9th Cir., July 5,...more

Ninth Circuit Case Demonstrates That the Social Media Platform, Not the User, Is in Control

We have written before about website operators’ use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to combat data scraping. We have also noted a number of recent cases in which courts held that social media platforms,...more

Ninth Circuit Says You’re Going to Jail for Visiting That Website without Permission

Zounds, right? But that is arguably what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Facebook v. Power Ventures, Inc. on July 12th. Let’s get to it....more

Déjà Vu Not All Over Again: Ninth Circuit Strengthens CFAA In Nosal II

On July 5, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its highly anticipated decision in the most recent chapter of United States v. Nosal, holding that an individual acts "without authorization" as used in the Computer...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets “Without Authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

When we last left David Nosal, he had escaped liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after convincing some of his former colleagues at executive search firm Korn/Ferry to use their log-in credentials to download...more

Taking a Walk Back to a Kinder, Gentler Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

We don’t usually talk about four-year-old court decisions in the first instance here. But the Ninth Circuit has issued a pair of noteworthy opinions interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the last few weeks. And...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

Court Upholds Conviction Of Ex-Employee For Conspiring To Access Company Data Through “Shared” Password

Is password sharing a crime? It can be under the right circumstances, according to last week’s decision in United States v. Nosal. In Nosal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the conviction of a former...more

CFAA Double Feature: Ninth Circuit Issues Two Important Decisions on the Scope of Liability Related to Data Scraping and...

This past week, the Ninth Circuit released two important decisions that clarify the scope of liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. The Act was originally designed to target...more

News of Note

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Ruling: Did the Ninth Circuit Just Criminalize Password Sharing?

Not exactly. A divided Ninth Circuit panel recently affirmed the conviction of a former employee under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), holding that “[u]nequivocal revocation of computer access closes both the front...more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Dissent claims that new Ninth Circuit case criminalizes password sharing

Danny Defendant, employed by Acme Widget Co., quits. Acme, of course, disables the password that Danny had used to access the Acme computer system. Danny then asks a friend, who still works at Acme, for her password. She...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

Ninth Circuit Rules that CFAA Imposes Criminal Penalties When Terminated Users Try To Access Systems With Borrowed Passwords

It can be a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) to “access[] a protected computer without authorization.” The CFAA clearly applies when criminals with no connection to a company try to force their...more

Quirky Question #283: They Stole Our Stuff, Can We Sue?

Question: My company recently terminated an employee, and we are very worried she accessed her email inappropriately in the days before she was fired. The timing of it all is … well, quirky. Here’s what happened: The...more

Data Privacy Considerations for Starting or Evaluating a Bounty Program

Data security officers typically look for security risks by monitoring reports from automated security systems, listening to employees’ reports of security issues, and/or auditing IT systems. There is a great deal of debate,...more

Epic Verdict in Trade Secrets Case

Last week, a federal jury in Wisconsin awarded almost $1 billion to Epic Systems Corporation in its trade secrets case against Indian consulting company Tata Consulting Services, Ltd., and its American unit, Tata America...more

Tennessee Amends Its Data Breach Notification Laws

Removes the Encryption Safe Harbor, Limits the Timing of Notice, and Expands “Unauthorized Persons” - Effective July 1, 2016, Tennessee becomes the first state to remove the encryption safe harbor from its data breach...more

Preventing Unauthorized Access to and Disclosure of Confidential Employee Information

Inherent in all employment relationships is the fact that employers are privy to all sorts of confidential information about their employees. For example, in order to do something as simple as paying an employee’s wages, an...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

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