What’s “So” Important? Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Gets a Close Look from the U.S. Supreme Court

Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal February 2021

Aime Dempsey, Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employment, Labor  & Workforce Management practices, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, titled “What’s “So” Important? Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Gets a Close Look from the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format):

In a case with significant ramifications for employ­ers concerned with protecting sensitive informa­tion, and for employees accused of abusing access to computer networks, the U.S. Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) heard oral argument in Van Buren v. United States, a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that will require inter­pretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”).

The argument was lively. All of the Justices asked questions, and several expressed concern about vagueness in the CFAA’s definition of covered activity. Much of the discussion centered on an alleged “parade of horribles,” and on the meaning of the word “so.”

A relatively prompt decision is expected. Time will tell what SCOTUS will decide, but we would not be surprised to see a reversal and remand.

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