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.

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

Facebook’s Lawsuit Protects Its Users Against a Massive Spamming Scheme

On January 26, 2011, the federal district court in the Northern District of California granted Facebook a default judgment against Philip Porembski and PP Web Services LLC for obtaining “login credentials for at least 116,000 Facebook accounts without authorization” and for sending “more than 7.2 million spam messages to Facebook users.” Facebook, Inc. v. Fisher,… Read More

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… Read More

Can You Rely on Your Corporate Computer Policies to Sue Ex-Employees who Steal Company Data

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… Read More

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