Combatting Employee Data Theft With CFAA

Law360, New York (June 13, 2011, 1:04 PM EDT) -- For the last several years, courts across the country have answered differently the question of whether the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 et seq., imposes liability on employees who access their employers’ computer networks to steal confidential files and use the files to compete with the employers.

The primary question is whether such access — to steal or remove files — qualifies as access “without authorization” or “exceeding authorized access” under the CFAA. Several federal courts have held that it does...
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