Back in November, I wrote about how a plaintiff in a lawsuit involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) decided to appeal its case to the Supreme Court. I explained that the CFAA is interpreted differently by the different federal circuit courts; depending on what state you are in, you might get a different result in a CFAA case. Some circuits, like the First Circuit that covers most of New England, interpret the CFAA more broadly. Employees in those circuits are subject to liability for a broader range of activity than employees in other circuits that interpret the CFAA more narrowly, like the Ninth Circuit which includes California.
The parties to the Supreme Court appeal have now agreed to dismiss it, meaning that the Supreme Court will not review the CFAA. Many employment lawyers are understandably unhappy with this result. But I think whether you’re happy or sad with the dismissal likely depends on whether you’re an employee or an employer, and where you’re located. If you’re an employer in Massachusetts, the CFAA case law is more favorable for you. If you’re an employee, it’s not. But employees are happier in California. And the Supreme Court will resolve the split, someday.