Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Employers may intimidate employees with Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A Bronx discrimination lawyer will inform you that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is sometimes used by employers to intimidate an employee who is filing or contemplating filing a claim for employment discrimination.

Bronx discrimination lawyer

The CFAA was first passed as the Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 with the intent of protecting information of a classified or financial/credit nature on “federal interest computers,” i.e., financial institution and government computers.  However, because only hacking or unauthorized access was prohibited under the Act, no protection was given against authorized users who improperly used the computers.  Amendments to the CFAA in 1994 and 1996, as well as provisions in the 2001 Patriot Act significantly broadened its applications.

Therefore, a Bronx discrimination lawyer will advise you that the CFAA is commonly used by employers to threaten employees by bringing claims of the following types against them:

  1. An employee “knowingly” brought about transmission of a command, code, information or program which “intentionally” incurred damage “without authorization” to a computer that is protected, or “intentionally” gained access to a computer that is protected “without authorization,” which resulted in loss and damage totaling an amount that the law states.
  2. “Without authorization” an employee “intentionally” gained access to a computer or “exceeded authorized access” and acquired information from any computer that is protected and foreign or interstate communication was involved in the conduct.
  3. “Without authorization” an employee “knowingly and with intent to defraud” gained access to a computer that is protected and facilitated the deliberate fraudulent conduct while obtaining “anything of value.”

When using an employer’s computer complex, do not overreach your authority

A Bronx discrimination lawyer will advise you that if you want to avoid litigation threats under CFAA, you should be careful to observe the following:

  1. If you are not a current employee, do not access your former employer’s computer system.
  2. If you are a current employee, stay within the limits of your authority when accessing the computer system of your employer.

You should apply similar caution regarding removing proprietary and/or confidential trade secret information.

If you have questions and concerns regarding employment situation and would like to speak with a Bronx discrimination lawyer, please contact the Law Office of Delmas Costin, Jr. by calling 718-618-0589.

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