Category Archives: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

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Ex-Worker Sued for Accessing Former Employer’s Google Drive Account

A former employee’s accessing a Google Drive he set up for his employer may result in a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This case also serves as a reminder to carefully evaluate how your company uses any third-party services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Background … Continue Reading

Using Co-worker’s Computer Password Ends with Federal Computer Hacking Conviction

A federal appeals court on July 5, 2016, affirmed the conviction of a former executive, David Nosal in a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) case that we’ve extensively covered. In sum, Mr. Nosal was charged in 2012 and amended charges were filed in 2013 for violating the CFAA by using a shared password to steal headhunting … Continue Reading

Courts Continue to Narrow Application of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Against Former Employees

While it is far from settled, the trend under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act continues towards narrowing the application of the CFAA in the context of the employer/employee relationship. Specifically, a federal district court in Colorado concluded that the federal computer fraud statute was not violated by departing employees and contractors who, during … Continue Reading

An Uber Example of Getting Caught with Your Hand In Your Employer’s Cookie Jar

Uber and Lyft are both internet and mobile application based technology companies offering a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform. Or for less tech-speak, they are involved in what is generally described as the “sharing economy.” However, a recent lawsuit makes clear that sharing has its limits. Specifically, Lyft is suing a former executive (Lyft v Uber (PDF)), … Continue Reading

Former Employee Sentenced to Prison for Trade Secret Misappropriation and Computer Fraud Related Misconduct

One of the more noteworthy employer/employee trade-secret misappropriation and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act  (CFAA) cases came to an end earlier this week. Specifically, Mr. David Nosal wa sentenced on January 8, 2014 to one year and one day in prison. He was convicted for misappropriating his former employer’s trade secrets and improperly accessing the … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Does not Protect Against Employee Violations of Company Computer Use Policies

Previously this blog outlined the various approaches Courts have taken to applying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. 1030, to workplace misuse of employer provided computer resources. A recent opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, seriously limits the applicability of the CFAA to the employer/employee relationship and challenges other courts … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: A Criminal Statute That Extends to the Employment Relationship?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Ensnared (Gary Fields and John Emshwiller), details the increasing number of federal criminal statutes and federal prosecutions – a threefold increase over the last 30 years. The article attributes – in part – this upward spiral to the criminalization of issues generally … Continue Reading

Targeting “Excessive” Social Media Use as Violation of Computer Fraud & Abuse Act Misses the Mark

A Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim (CFAA) against a former employee based on “excessive Internet usage,” including visiting Facebook was recently dismissed by a Federal District Court in Florida.  Specifically, in Lee v. PMSI, Inc., the former employer claimed Wendi Lee, engaged in “excessive Internet usage” and visited “personal websites such as Facebook” and sent and … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Continues to be Potent Weapon Against Disgruntled and Departing Employees

A recent opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (PDF) confirms that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (essentially a federal computer hacking statute) continues to be a significant resource for employers to protect against the loss and damage of mission critical information due to departing or rogue employees. To add the Computer Fraud and … Continue Reading
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