Time to Review Corporate Computer Policies

THE PRACTICE Commentary and advice on developments in the law Three recent court decisions make it important for companies to begin the new year with a thorough review of their computer-use policies with a focus on two issues: ensuring that employees have no expectation of privacy in using the company computer systems and delineating the… 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

Data Protection Strategies

Technology poses a special risk to companies whose businesses depend on such valuable competitive data. With just a couple of mouse clicks or through the use of a thumb drive that can be slipped into a pocket, an employee can easily remove from the workplace what amounts to multiple file cabinets worth of documents. Last… 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

Protecting Personal Data

During the past seven years, 45 states have enacted laws mandating consumer notifications if there is a theft of personal data from the company computers that can be used by thieves to perpetrate identity theft.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also brought enforcement actions against companies for not properly protecting sensitive personal data.  The… Read More

IntellectualL Property The PRO-IP Act

By Nick Akerman and Lile Deinard In October, the federal government, with strong bipartisan support, reorganized its strategy and expanded the resources available to protect the nation’s intellectual property with the enactment of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, known as the PRO-IP Act, 15 U.S.C 8101.  The legislation was formulated in… Read More

Hacking and Trading

In October 2007, Oleksandr Dorozhko, a Ukrainian national operating from Ukraine, “hacked into the computer network of Thomson Financial” and “gained access to IMS Health’s soonto- be-released negative earnings announcement.”  Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dorozhko, No. 07 Civ. 9606, 2008 WL 126612, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 8, 2008).  Armed with this nonpublic knowledge of… Read More

When workers steal data to use at new jobs

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

Web Site Terms of Use

Web site terms of use have taken center stage with the recent press reports of the indictment of Lori Drew by a Los Angeles federal grand jury for violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030.  Drew, 49, is charged with breaching MySpace’s terms of service by tormenting and harassing a… Read More

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