July 23, 2017

Amending the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A recently floated draft of a proposed legislative changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) reflects a desire to increase the penalties available for violations of the primary federal anti-hacking statute. However, in an article just published in Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report, I argue that the draft bill fails to address issues that have split the federal circuits, unwisely lifts some CFAA violations from a misdemeanor to a felony, and fails to address growing calls to remove violations of terms of service agreements from the CFAA’s reach. The article suggests that legislative revisions to the Economic Espionage Act or the the enactment of a federal trade secrets law offer a better policy direction for Congress.

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