Last week two federal district courts, one in Connecticut and the other in Manhattan, followed LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2009) in dismissing Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claims brought against employees who stole company data. In neither case did the plaintiff company employer rely on company computer… Read More
A New York court held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s (“CFAA”) prohibition against unauthorized access does not apply to corporate executives who stole confidential and proprietary information from the company computers because, as company executives, they had been “granted unfettered access to . . . [the company’s] computer system and information residing on… Read More
Without referring to its Circuit’s controlling decision of LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127, (9th Cir. 2009) , a federal district court in San Jose, California permitted a Computer Fraud and Abuse (“CFAA”) claim to proceed against an ex-employee for deleting files from her former employer’s computer. Kal-Tencor Corp. v. Murphy, 2010 WL 1912029 *6-*7 (N.D. Cal. May 11, 2010). This case is significant because it allows a CFAA claim for unauthorized access to be predicated on an employee agreement requiring an employee to return company records at the time of termination from the company. This decision is contrary to another district court decision in the same federal judicial district — U.S. v. Nosal, 2010 WL 934257 *7 (N.D. Ca. Jan. 6, 2010) — leaving open the question of whether in the 9th Circuit employer policies can be used to define employee authorization to the company computers .
Bell Aerospace Services, Inc. v. US. Aero Services, Inc., 690 F.Supp.2d 1267 (M.D. Ala. 2010) recently followed the 9th Circuit’s decision in LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127, 1133 (9th Cir. 2009). The case alleges a classic employee theft of competitively sensitive data from the company computers for use at a competing business. Bell Aerospace Services fired one of its officers who two months later founded a competing company, U.S. Aero Services, and then recruited seven Bell Aerospace Services employees to join him at the new company.
In Marketing Technology Solutions, Inc. v. Medizine LLC, 2010 WL 2034404 *6-7 (S.D.N.Y. May 18, 2010) the court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the CFAA claim for stealing trade secrets from the company computer. Medizine, the employee’s new employer, argued that the employee, Daniel Brandt, could not have accessed his former employer’s computer without… Read More
The Magistrate Judge in Consulting Professional Resources, Inc. v. Concise Technologies LLC, 2010 WL 1337723 (W.D. Pa. March 9, 2010) held that the CFAA does not apply to an employee who removed trade secret protected data from the company computer and provided it to a competitor immediately prior to leaving her employer to become employed… Read More
In International Airport Centers, LLC v. Citrin, 440 F.3d 418, 420 (7th Cir. 2006) the court held that an employee was liable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse and the employee’s “authorization to access the [company] laptop terminated, when, . . . [the employee] resolved to destroy files that incriminated himself and other files that… Read More
In response to the economic crisis, companies have downsized, resulting in some terminated employees’ stealing vital data to improve their job opportunities with a new employer. In addition to traditional state remedies such as misappropriation of trade secrets, employers have been “increasingly taking advantage of…[the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s] civil remedies to sue… Read More