Monthly Archives: December 2010

The 11th Circuit Rejects Brekka and Provides Guidance on Pursuing Ex-Employees Who Steal from Company Computers

This week the 11th Circuit upheld the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) conviction and one -year prison sentence of a former Social Security Administration (“SSA”) employee who accessed the agency’s computer for non-business reasons. U.S. v. Rodriguez, 2010 WL 5253231 (11th Cir. Dec. 27, 2010). This case is significant for two reasons. First, the court refused to adopt the 9th Circuit’s decision in LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127 (9th Cir. 2009), the poster child for not applying the CFAA to miscreant employees who steal their employer’s data. A critical element to prove a theft of data … [ Continue reading ]

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Two recent district court opinions add to the caselaw providing judicial guidance on how employers might update their corporate computer policies to be able to sue ex-employees for stealing company data based on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the federal computer crime statute. Title 18, U.S.C. §1030. This is a particularly significant problem when employees leave their current jobs to join competitors and attempt to gain an unfair advantage by stealing data from the company computers prior to their departure. 4 of the 7 sections of the CFAA that are the basis for a civil cause of action … [ Continue reading ]

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Can Breaching a Contract Be Computer Fraud?

Court in ticket resale case says ‘yes,’ if it results in unauthorized access, an essential element of the crime. The U.S. Department of Justice has brought a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) prosecution in New Jersey against the owners and operators of Wiseguy Tickets Inc., an online ticket seller for concerts and sports events. A critical element in proving most violations of the CFAA, the federal computer crime statute, is that the defendant’s access to the computer (interpreted broadly to include a Web site) that is the object of the criminal activity was “without authorization or exceeds authorized access.” … [ Continue reading ]

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