Appellate Court Rules IT Worker Liable Under CFAA for Sabotaging Employer’s Network

Hanley Chew + Tyler G. Newby of Fenwick & West LLP write:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act conviction of an IT worker who sabotaged his employer’s network, rejecting the argument that an IT worker’s authorized access to “impair” a computer network as part of his routine duties authorizes any form of damage to the network. The December 11 ruling in United States of America v. Michael Thomas confirms liability under the CFAA for employees who act outside the scope of their duties to damage a company’s network.

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