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Category Archives: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

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Court Issues Injunction Barring Blocking of Scraping and Holds CFAA Likely Doesn’t Apply

A Green Light for Screen Scraping? Proceed With Caution… UPDATE:  As expected, LinkedIn appealed the lower court’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction compelling LinkedIn to disable any technical measures it had employed to block the defendant’s data scraping activities.  LinkedIn’s brief was filed on October 3, 2017.  In it, LinkedIn asserts that the relevant … Continue Reading

CFAA Double Feature: Ninth Circuit Issues Two Important Decisions on the Scope of Liability Related to Data Scraping and Unauthorized Access to Employer Databases

UPDATE: On January 18, 2019, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the award of damages and injunctive relief in favor of Facebook. (Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc., No. 17-16161 (9th Cir. Jan. 18, 2019) (unpublished)). The California district court in 2017 had awarded Facebook almost $80,000 in CFAA damages, representing only the period after Facebook sent its … Continue Reading

QVC Sues Shopping App for Web Scraping That Allegedly Triggered Site Outage

Operators of public-facing websites are typically concerned about the unauthorized, technology-based extraction of large volumes of information from their sites, often by competitors or others in related businesses.  The practice, usually referred to as screen scraping, web harvesting, crawling or spidering, has been the subject of many questions and a fair amount of litigation over … Continue Reading

No Expansion of CFAA Liability for Monetary Exploit of Software Bug

In the game Monopoly, lucky players landing on Community Chest might turn over the highly desirable “Bank Error in Your Favor, Collect $200” card.  By the next turn, the proceeds are usually invested in properties and houses, yet, some might wonder whether accepting such a windfall was proper in the first place…or could lead to … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Ruling Trimming CFAA Claims for Misappropriation Reminds Employers that Technical Network Security is the First Defense

The Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, has upheld a district court’s dismissal of criminal charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that were predicated on misappropriation of proprietary documents in violation of the employer’s computer use policy. United States v. Nosal, No. 10-10038, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7151 (9th Cir. Apr. 10, 2012).  The ruling … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Will Rehear Important Employee Data Theft Case under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

On October 27, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed to rehear the  appeal in United States v. Nosal, 642 F.3d 781 (9th Cir. Apr. 28, 2011). Nosal involves a prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for alleged employee theft of confidential data from an employer’s network for … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Panel Says Employee Violation of Employer Computer Use Policy Can Support CFAA Criminal Charge

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that an employee’s violation of an employer’s computer use policy can support a criminal charge of exceeding authorized access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. United States v. Nosal, No. 10-10038 (9th Cir. Apr. 28, 2011). The case involved access … Continue Reading

Applying 9th Circuit LVRC v. Brekka Ruling, District Court Dismisses Most CFAA Criminal Charges in United States v. Nosal

UPDATE: As discussed in this blog post, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overruled the district court in United States v. Nosal (9th Cir. Apr. 28, 2011). ******** The debate over the applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in cases of alleged employee disloyalty has yielded quite … Continue Reading

Citing Plain Language of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Ninth Circuit Rules Employee’s Disloyal Act Does Not Terminate Authorization to Access Employer’s Computer

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. §1030, criminalizes access to a computer that is either “"without authorization"” or that "“exceed[s] authorized access,"” and provides a civil right of action for violations as well. In the last several years, a split has developed in the federal courts on the question of whether an … Continue Reading
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