The Conflicting Rulings on Employee Data Theft

In all jurisdictions the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, the federal computer crime statute, applies to former employees who steal data from the company computer, but in two federal circuits it does not apply when the theft occurs during employment. The difference in jurisdictions is significant to employers because the CFAA provides a civil remedy for damages and injunctive relief for a company that “suffers damage or loss” by reason of a violation of the CFAA. 18 U.S.C. 1030(g).
Last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in U.S. v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012), disagreed with certain of its sister circuits and narrowly interpret-ed what it means to access the company computer “without authorization,” effec-tively eliminating a company’s ability in that jurisdiction to use the CFAA against current employees. This column will review the conflicting interpretations of the CFAA that distinguishes between current and former employees and the strategies and options companies can employ to navigate this conflict.

Company computer policies risk becoming obsolete — Policies must reflect new laws and court decisions on data theft, social networking and cloud computing.

Have your client companies’ policies kept
pace with changes in the law affecting
computer technology? New statutes and court
decisions relating to computer technology
affect every business. Many companies
overlook opportunities to respond to these
new laws by adopting robust policies to
take advantage of the protections they
afford and to minimize the risks they pose.
This article will review three critical areas
of computer technology that should be
addressed by company policies: theft of data,
social networking and cloud computing.

Framing a Successful RICO Suit Predicated on Data Theft

Title: Framing a Successful RICO Suit Predicated on Data Theft Description: The civil remedy in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute is not limited to the ‘archetypal, intimidating mobster.’ Attorney Nick Akerman explains how RICO can apply to data thieves in an article for The National Law Journal. Released: 5/17/08 Cost: Free Download… Read More

Sarbanes Oxley: Protecting Company Data

Title: Sarbanes Oxley: Protecting Company Data Description: Nick Akerman discusses the responsibility that companies now have to their shareholders to protect valuable company data in light of Sarbanes Oxley and the New York Stock Exchange rules requiring New York Stock Exchange listed companies to include within their compliance programs the protection of 1) the company’s… Read More