I have written much on this blog about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) and the split among the federal circuit courts of appeals over how it should be interpreted. (See my prior posts here.) The issue being debated among the circuits is whether CFAA claims should only be permitted against an employee who “hacks” into an employer’s computer system, or should also be permitted against an employee who has access to an employer’s information, but then uses that information in violation of an employer’s computer use restriction (for example, a restriction that certain information in an employer’s computer is confidential and should not be disclosed outside the organization). This split is important because it means that employers are able to bring certain CFAA claims against employees in some states, but not in others. Obviously, the issue can only be decided once and for all by the U.S. Supreme Court. Back in August, I wrote about how the U.S. Department of Justice decided not to pursue Supreme Court review of the issue in a case decided in the Ninth Circuit. But last week, the plaintiff employer in another case decided by the Fourth Circuit filed a petition for the Supreme Court to review the issue. We’ll have to see whether the Supreme Court decides to accept the case in the coming months.
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