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

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

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

Maryland Court: Employees Who Steal Data from the Company Computer do not Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A federal district court in Maryland held that an employee who allegedly stole proprietary data from his prior employer did not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) because he was authorized to access the data and use the data on the job before he terminated his employment with his prior employer. Océ North… Read More

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Count Dismissed Against Goldman Sachs Computer Programmer Charged with Stealing Source Code

A New York federal Judge dismissed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) count charging Sergey Aleynikov, a former computer programmer for Goldman Sachs & Co., with stealing the computer source code used in Goldman’s high-frequency trading system. U.S. v. Aleynikov, 2010 WL 3489383 *14-17 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 3, 2010). The reasoning underlying this opinion underscores… Read More

Conn. District Court Refuses to Dismiss Computer Fraud and Abuse Claims Against Ex-Employee

Without referencing the conflicting positions between LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2009) and Int’l Airport Centers LLC v. Citrin, 440 F.3d 418, 420 (7th Cir.2006) a Connecticut federal district court refused to dismiss Computer Fraud and Abuse claims brought by an employer against an ex-employee. In Monson v. The… Read More

DC and Iowa District Courts Take Opposing Views as to Whether Employees Are Liable Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Hollander, 2010 WL 2851639 *1 (N.D. Iowa, July 20, 2010) the court denied the defendant employee’s motion for summary judgment on the Computer Fraud and Abuse (“CFAA”) claim. The plaintiff claimed Hollander, “anticipating terminating his relationship with plaintiff, accessed and used plaintiff’s computer database to aid himself in… Read More

California Court Grants Summary Judgment to Cisco Systems on Computer Fraud and Abuse Claim, Holding that Brekka Does Not Apply to Ex-Employees

Last week a federal district court in California granted Cisco Systems, Inc. summary judgment on its Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim against an ex-employee who “on multiple occasions and without authorization, . . . used a Cisco employee’s password to gain access to Cisco’s computer systems and download Cisco’s proprietary and copyrighted software.”… Read More

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