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.

Unauthorized Access of President Obama’s Student Loan Data Ends in Computer Fraud Conviction

The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the criminal conviction of Sandra Teague for accessing President Obama’s data in the National Student Loan Data System during her employment at a government contractor for the Department of Education. U.S. v, Teague, 646 F.3d 1119 (8th Cir. 2011). She was indicted and convicted by a jury for… Read More

Massachusetts Attorney General Enforcement Action: Data Breach, the Massachusetts Privacy Regulation and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

Melissa J. Krasnow, Dorsey & Whitney LLP In March 2011, a Final Judgment by Consent was issued in Massachusetts v. Briar Group, LLC, which involves a 2009 Massachusetts data breach and implicates the Massachusetts privacy regulation and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”).1 The Massachusetts privacy regulation applies to a person or… Read More

Can a Labor Union Be Sued Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for Spamming an Employer’s Voice and Email Systems?

The answer is yes. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week reversed a district court and reinstated a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim brought by an employer against a labor union for “bombarding” the computer systems of its sales and executive offices with emails and voicemails making it impossible for the company… Read More

Legal Minds Interview with Nick Akerman

LegalMinds® Interviews Nick Akerman, summer 2001, vol 2. no.1 “In this exclusive LegalMinds® interview, Akerman discusses recent developments related to data security, identity theft, workplace and customer privacy issues, discloseure obligations and compliance with state laws and federal statues, as well as several recent Supreme Court decisions that can have a significant impact on your… Read More

Will News Corp. Executives and Reporters Be Charged with Criminal Violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

The New York Times recently reported that the UK telephone hacking scandal could result in News Corp. and its executives being charged in the United States with criminal violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Title 15, U.S.C. § 78m, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2511, and the Telephone Records and Privacy… Read More

9th Circuit Clarifies Brekka: Employees Can Be Criminally Prosecuted for Violating Their Employer’s Computer Policies

In California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho – states covered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — the answer as of yesterday is an emphatic “YES.” In U.S. v. Nosal, 2011 WL 1585600 (9th Cir. April 28, 2011) the court clarified its decision in LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d… Read More

How Not to Investigate a Suspected Data Theft

There are few reported cases that reflect the problems that can result from computer investigations being inexpertly performed. U.S. v. Koo, 2011 WL 777965 (D. Or. March 1, 2011), decided this month by an Oregon federal district court, illustrates what can go wrong when a novice directs a computer investigation. The underlying facts of the… Read More

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