Exiting CTO who copied source code and company files wins dismissal of CFAA claim; Thoughts on the CFAA post-Nosal
Justin P. Webb writes:
Viral Tolat, ex-CTO of Integral Development Company, is accused by his former company of copying gigabytes of source code and confidential files on his way out the door to a position with another company. He copied the source code to multiple places and uploaded some of the data to his personal Google Docs account. In Integral’s First Amended Complaint, it alleged, inter alia, that Tolat violated the CFAA (and the analogous Cali statute) by misappropriating Integral data in derogation of the company’s confidentiality policy and Tolat’s employment agreement; Integral also alleged that Tolat “exceeded authorized access” because he had no “legitimate reason” to copy the source code (Tolat knew next to nothing about programming).
A federal judge in the N.D. Cal. did not buy Integral’s allegations of “hacking” and granted Tolat’s motion to dismiss those claims; the court’s holding was based on United States v. Nosal’s narrow reading of the CFAA.
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