Tag Archives: computer crimes

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

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

Helping Employers Against Employees Who Help Themselves to Company Information to Build a Discrimination Claim

A well written article by Connie Bertram, asks the question “Is Self-Help Discovery by Employees Protected Activity?” The title of the article refers to situations where an employee attempts to gather factual support or to otherwise pursue an employment discrimination claim or a related employment-based lawsuit against the employer by accessing employer files and databases to … Continue Reading

Michigan Employer Restricted in Using Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim Against Former Employer

The California based law firm Littler Mendelson’s Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Practice Group discussed a recent dismissal of a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim brought by a company against its former employee. The case, Ajuba International, L.L.C. v. Saharia (PDF), involved the U.S. federal court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejecting a broad interpretation … 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

New Weapon for Michigan Employers for Protecting Against Unfair Competition and Trade Secret Theft

Michigan Companies were recently given a new tool for fighting back against trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition. Specifically, in Actuator Specialties, Inc. v. Chinavare the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s determination that Actuator Specialties established a threat of misappropriation against its former employee and his new employer. This threat entitled it … Continue Reading

Criminal Indictment for Failing to Report Child Pornography

I previously discussed an employer’s obligation for reporting child pornography found on company IT resources. See What Should an Employer Do if Child Pornography is Discovered in the Workplace. One of the recommendations made in that post was to report child pornography to law enforcement, “no exceptions.” The importance for following this recommendation was recently highlighted … 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

Protecting Company Information Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A 2011 Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, underscores the importance of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act plays in combating disgruntled employees who steal company data. This case also highlights important steps employers should take in protecting company IT infrastructure and digital information from internal threats. In that case, the former employer worked in the IT … Continue Reading

What Should An Employer Do if Child Pornography is Discovered in the Workplace?

Possession of child pornography often involves a computer and is a serious crime. But what happens when that crime takes place on an employer’s network or company computer? The thirteenth-century Spanish King Alfonso X said, “Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for better ordering of the universe.” … Continue Reading
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