Molly Willms reports on a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that touches on “exceeding authorized access” under CFAA:
The confusion that plagued a jury in a computer hacking trial has followed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where hypotheticals and technical questions abounded during oral argument Monday.
Michael Musacchio was convicted in May 2013 of one felony count of conspiracy to make unauthorized access to a protected computer and two felony counts of hacking. He was sentenced to 63 months in prison.
The jury in Musacchio’s case received the erroneous instruction that it had to find proof that he had accessed a private computer without authorization and exceeded his authorized access, according to the Fifth Circuit ruling. The jury found him guilty on all three counts, after which he claimed that the government failed to prove both elements of the charge as it was explained to the jury.