Nick Akerman

Prior to private practice Nick served as a federal prosecutor. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted a wide array of white collar criminal matters, including bank frauds, bankruptcy frauds, stock frauds, complex financial frauds, environmental and tax crimes. Nick was also an Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force under Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski.Nick has over 30 years of experience in helping clients respond to government investigations and prosecutions and assisting corporate clients prevent and respond to internal thefts and outside hackers. He is a nationally recognized expert on computer crime and the protection of competitively sensitive information and computer data. Nick regularly obtains injunctions for his clients under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in various federal courts around the country requiring computer thieves to return stolen computer data and prohibiting the dissemination of the data to competitors. He also guides clients in developing systems, policies and protocols to protect computer data.Nick speaks and writes regularly on protecting computer data, including in his regular computer data column for the National Law Journal. He has been a featured quoted expert on computer fraud and computer security issues in the New York Times, USA Today, the San Jose Mercury News, the Boston Globe, the St. Louis Dispatch, the Sacramento Bee, Forbes, ComputerWorld, CFO Magazine, CNET, CNET Japan, ZDNet, MSN, Internet Week and the Weekly Homeland Security Newsletter. His blog can be found at http://computerfraud.us.

Tennessee Court: The CFAA Is Not Unconstitutionally Vague

While she is no longer a public official, former Governor Sarah Palin has unwittingly contributed to a Tennessee federal district court upholding the constitutionality of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). The case in question is a criminal prosecution against David Kernell, the college student charged with violations of the CFAA for accessing… Read More

Privacy on Your Work Computer?

Can we expect any privacy when it comes to personal emails created at work?  Perhaps a little.  The New Jersey Supreme Court in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency affirmed a lower court opinion last week holding that despite an employer’s corporate computer policies reserving all rights to review employee emails, an employee’s communications with her attorney were protected by… Read More

Social Media Poses Risks To Companies

By Melissa Krasnow. Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., is an evolving and growing means of communication. According to some reports, people have been spending more time using social media sites than e-mail since February 2009. See “A World of Connections,” The Economist, Jan. 28, 2010. For companies, social media presents both opportunities and… Read More

Computer Policies and the 9th Circuit

Last month I posted my article from the National Law Journal, entitled, “Time to Review Computer Policies,” discussing three recent cases, including LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 81 F.3d 1127, 1131 (9th Cir. 2009). I cited Brekka for the proposition that it is important to delineate the scope of an employee’s permissible access to the… Read More

Default judgment entered for Criagslist on the CFAA

Craigslist, Inc. v. Naturemarket, Inc., 2010 WL 807446, *12 (N.D. Ca., March 5, 2010) entered a default judgment in favor of Craigslist for, among other things, a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The court held that the defendants’ access to the Craigslist Web site was unauthorized under the CFAA because the defendants… Read More

How To Prove “Loss” for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

To bring a civil action based on the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) a plaintiff must show that the alleged violation “caused . . . loss . . . aggregating at least $5,000 in value.” 18 U.S. C. Section 1030(c)(4)(A)(i). “Loss” is defined by the CFAA as “any reasonable cost to any victim,… Read More

Time to Review Corporate Computer Policies

THE PRACTICE Commentary on developments in the law Three recent court decisions make it important for companies to begin the new year with a thorough review of their computer-use policies with a focus on two issues: ensuring that employees have no expectation of privacy in using the company computer systems and delineating the scope of… Read More

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