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Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Category Archives: Computer Fraud

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Third Circuit Signals Pro-Defendant Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s “Authorized Access” Provisions

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Espionage

On April 11th, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and 41-month prison sentence of a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) defendant, holding that he was tried and convicted in an improper venue.  U.S. v. Auernheimer, No. 13-1816 (3rd Cir. Apr. 11, 2014).  Though we usually do not post on procedural issues like these, we certainly post …

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims in the First Circuit – Will the Narrow Approach Prevail?

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, remains unsettled in the First Circuit after two decisions issued just weeks apart adopted differing approaches to the treatment of such claims.

The CFAA prohibits the intentional access of a computer without authorization or exceeding a party’s authorization to obtain information from a protected computer.  As …

Big Data and IP Business Strategy

Posted in Computer Fraud, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Privacy, Social Media

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry about the big data and IP business strategy by technology lawyer and IP strategist Joren De Wachter. Joren serves as a Co Chair with me on the ITechLaw Intellectual Property Law Committee and has an excellent blog of his …

Trading Secrets – 2013 Year in Review

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, International, Legislation, Social Media, Trade Secrets

Seyfarth Shaw is pleased to announce the publication of the Trading Secrets 2013 Year in Review. The 2013 Review is a compilation of our significant blog posts from 2013 and is categorized by specific topics such as: Trade Secrets; Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants; Legislation; International and Social Media. As the specific blog entries, including …

Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2013

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, International, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Restrictive Covenants, Social Media, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

As part of our annual tradition, we are pleased to present our discussion of the top 10 developments/headlines in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law for 2013. Please join us for our complimentary webinar on March 6, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. P.S.T., where we will discuss them in greater detail. As with all

Upcoming Webinar: 2013 National Year in Review — What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Espionage, International, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Social Media, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Michael Wexler, Jim McNairy and Josh Salinas will present Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series. They will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secret and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and the interplay …

Mobile Device Forensics – Are You in the Know?

Posted in Computer Fraud, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media, Trade Secrets

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog post by digital forensics experts James Whitehead and Arnold Garcia with iDiscovery Solutions. -Editor Robert Milligan  

By James Whitehead and Arnold Garcia

Smartphones, tablets and other “Smart” mobile devices are becoming a mainstay within the corporate landscape. Today’s mobile devices …

Recent Alleged Cyberattack By Ex-Employee Demonstrates Importance of Employer Diligence On Protecting Network Passwords

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

A recently unsealed criminal complaint out of the Eastern District of New York raises allegations that paint a frightening picture for employers of the havoc that disgruntled ex-employees can wreak on company computer networks.

The prosecution alleges that a former employee of an unnamed company that manufactures high-voltage power supplies in Suffolk County, New …

No Damages? Illinois Federal Court Tosses Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim Alleging Hacking of Law Firm Network

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

An Illinois federal court recently found in the favor of the defendant on a plaintiff’s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim because the plaintiff allegedly failed to satisfy the statute’s $5,000 damages threshold.

The plaintiff, a computer consulting servicing company which spent time restoring its client’s computer network (a Chicago law firm) after it was allegedly hacked by the plaintiff’s …

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Disloyal Employees: A Narrow Bridge To Nowhere?

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Trade Secrets

By Gary Glaser and Jacob Oslick

An old folk melody describes the world as “a very narrow bridge,” where one misstep can bring disaster. The song seeks to inspire, calling on people to have “no fear at all” while crossing through life’s perils.

However inspiring this song might be, some metaphorical bridges just aren’t worth crossing. Trying to assert Computer …

Nuts and Bolts for Terms Commonly Used in Trade Secret Computer Forensic Investigations

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog post by digital forensics expert Jonathan Karchmer, a Senior Manager with Intelligent Discovery Solutions.  -Editor Robert Milligan

By Jonathan Karchmer

Computer forensic investigations are commonplace for matters dealing with allegations of trade secret theft. Forensic experts and IT security teams …

Activist’s Death May Spur Legislative Changes To The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Legislation

By Jessica Mendelson and Robert Milligan

The death of Aaron Swartz, a well-known coder, entrepreneur and political activist, has resulted in increased scrutiny of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), a law some condemn as arcane and draconian but supported by others as necessary to combat illegal hacking and data theft.

Mr. Swartz helped to create RSS, a …

2012 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

In Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2013 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Joshua Salinas will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secrets and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and company owned social media accounts and social media policies, as well …

2012 Year in Review On Significant Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Cases, Legislation, and Developments Now Available

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Trading Secrets Blog 2012 Year in Review.

The 2012 Review is a compilation of our significant blog posts from 2012 and is categorized by specific topics: Trade Secrets; Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants; and Legislation.

As the specific blog entries, including our Top 10 Developments/Headlines in

Department of Justice Issues Report Highlighting Trade Secret Theft Prosecutions And Need For Companies To Vigilantly Protect Their Data

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Trade Secrets

By Jessica Mendelson and Robert Milligan

In December 2012, the Department of Justice released a “Summary of the Major U.S. Export Enforcement, Economic Espionage, Trade Secret and Embargo-Related Criminal Cases.”

The report includes the major export enforcement, trade secret theft, economic espionage, and embargo-related criminal prosecutions handled by the United States Department of Justice between January 2007 and December 2012.…

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Circuit Split Remains Unresolved: United States Supreme Court Challenge Dismissed

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage

The parties in the WEC Carolina Energy Solutions LLC v. Miller matter recently agreed to dismiss the petition for writ of certiorari filed with the United States Supreme Court, and as a result, the Court has dismissed the case. 

Accordingly, the circuit split regarding the ability of employers to use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to sue former …

2012 Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud, and Non-Competes Webinar Series – Year in Review

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Throughout 2012, Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever changing area of law. The series consisted of eight webinars:

1) Employee Privacy, Social Networking at Work, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Standoff;
2) Employee Theft …

Virginia Federal Court Finds For Employer on Fidicuary Duty Claim Against Former Employee

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure

By Michael Baniak

A Virginia federal court district court recently issued a significant decision awarding lost profits to an aggrieved employer for breach of fiduciary duty by a former employee. The Court found that the ex-employee was not able to deduct his services for the company as an expense against the damages award. Further, the Court found that the employer’s …

Mississippi Federal District Court Allows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim To Proceed Against Former Employee

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft

A recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) case from the Southern District of Mississippi further muddies the water with respect to the circuit split regarding the application of the law against former employees who violate computer usage policies or violate their duties of loyalty to their employers by stealing company data from company computer systems.

Unified Brands, Inc. (“Unified”), …

2012 California Year in Review Webinar: What You Need to Know About the Recent Developments in Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. pacific/12:00 p.m. central, Jim McNairy, Jessica Mendelson and Joshua Salinas will present the “2012 California Year in Review,” the final segment in this year’s Trade Secret Webinar Series. 

You can register for this complimentary webinar here.

In Seyfarth’s final installment of its 2012 Trade Secret Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys will review …

Arizona Federal Court Issues Significant Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Trade Secret Preemption Decision

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Trade Secrets

According to a recent Arizona federal court decision, (a) an employee who had the right to access his employer’s confidential emails did not violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, by downloading 300 such documents to his personal computer and sharing them with a recently terminated employee; (b) an employer may pursue either …

Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Dies Again in the Senate

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation

By Misty Blair

You may recall that hopes were high this summer that the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 would become law, as various advocacy groups attempted to reach compromises on the most controversial portions of the bill, resulting in it being revised to address those groups’ concerns. Then, on August 2nd, the Senate voted 52-46 (largely along party lines) against

Plaintiffs Retain Home Field Advantage in Email Hacking Action But Nebraska Federal Court Dismisses Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage

By Marcus Mintz

Corporate espionage in the sports industry? The owners of the Indoor Football League’s Omaha Beef recently asserted serious allegations against rival team, the Allen Wranglers, the League commissioner, and the Beef’s former coach, now coaching for the Wranglers.

In Gridiron Management Group LLC v. Allen Wranglers, No. 8:12-cv-3128, 2012 WL 5187839 (D. Neb. Oct. 18, 2012), …