IP: Why companies need clear policies against giving computer access to non-employees

A well-established practice of restricting access can increase the chances of a successful Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim

In 1986, in recognition of the economic importance of protecting computers from unauthorized access, Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The CFAA imposes criminal liability on outsiders who access computers to steal information or to disrupt or destroy computer functionality. In 1994, the CFAA was amended to give computer owners the right to bring a civil action, which requires proof that a company has policies and practices that restrict access.

In general, there are three types of unauthorized access of concern to companies:

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James Ware

Judge James Ware is a JAMS panelist based in San Francisco and a retired Chief Judge of the Northern District of California. He can...

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Contributing Author

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Mindy L. Ware

Mindy L. Ware is an attorney and lecturer in the Liberal and Civic Studies Program at Saint Mary’s College of California.

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