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

Disgruntled Employee Lacked Criminal Intent to Be Sued for a Civil Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

While the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) permits seven causes of action to be brought by individuals or companies who have been victims of violations of the statute, practitioners lose sight of the fact that the CFAA is at its core a criminal statute. Nyack Hospital v. Moran, 2010 WL 4118355 (S.D.N.Y. June… Read More

Sarah Palin Hacker’s Conviction Stands for Accessing Her Yahoo Email Account

The college student David C. Kernell who was convicted by a Chattanooga, Tennessee jury of various federal crimes including a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) for accessing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account will be sentenced on October 29, 2010. What Kernell did was to decipher the password for Alaska… Read More

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

Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case

November 27, 2008 Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case By JENNIFER STEINHAUER LOS ANGELES — A federal jury here issued what legal experts said was the country’s first cyberbullying verdict Wednesday, convicting a Missouri woman of three misdemeanor charges of computer fraud for her involvement in creating a phony account on MySpace to trick a teenager,… Read More

RICO and Data Thieves

The civil remedy in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et. seq., is not limited to the “archetypal, intimidating mobster.”  Sedima SPRL v. Imrex Co. Inc., 473 U.S. 479, 498 (1985).  There is no reason why RICO cannot apply to data thieves. RICO provides a significant remedial advantage over traditional… Read More

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