The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a circuit split regarding the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), specifically weighing in on the “exceeds authorized access” provision of the statute. The CFAA subjects to criminal liability anyone who “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access.” READ MORE
Protecting IP in a COVID-19 Remote-Work-World
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers offered remote work options. Now employers all over the world are encouraging or requiring their employees to work remote from home. This means employees are accessing, maintaining, and sharing proprietary information outside of the office more frequently than ever before, thereby increasing the risk of employee and third-party IP theft. READ MORE
Home Remedies for Politically Charged IP Theft
In January of this year, Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. was convicted of stealing trade secrets from U.S. company AMSC Inc. The theft caused AMSC, more than $800 million in losses and forced the company to lay off more than half its global work force. Sinovel’s sentencing—which could include fines exceeding $1 billion and a multiyear probationary period—is scheduled for June 2018. READ MORE
David Nosal Raises Unusual Fairness Argument in Yet Another Attempt to Avoid 366-Day Prison Sentence
Just over four years ago, in January 2014, a court sentenced former Korn/Ferry regional director David Nosal to one year and one day in prison for violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Espionage Act. Nosal appealed the sentence, but his appeals ultimately failed: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Nosal’s sentence, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the case. Luckily for Nosal, his 2014 motion for release pending appeal was granted, so he has not served any time during the four years of appeals. READ MORE
(Alleged) Spammer Squares Off With (Alleged) Hacker, Highlighting Risk of Cyber Threats
What’s in a name? Obviously a lot, as businesses in all industries invest significant time and money to protect their reputations. But, in some sectors, the line between positive and pejorative can be quite thin.
Take email marketing and cybersecurity, for example: What exactly distinguishes a successful high-volume email marketer from a spammer? And how can we distinguish a well-intentioned security analyst exposing vulnerabilities from a nefarious hacker? (Those familiar with techspeak will surely recall the familiar “white hat” and “black hat” dichotomy, but even that, as Wired has observed, is subject to gray areas of its own.) READ MORE
The Real Lesson of Chinese Cyberhacking
There’s been a lot of news lately about the Chinese military allegedly launching cyber attacks to steal U.S. trade secrets. This has gotten people riled up, including the President of the United States, who issued a 5-point plan for protecting American trade secrets. The White House called on the public to make suggestions for new federal legislation to combat this growing threat. (Submissions were due April 22, 2013.)
This is a time of great opportunity to do something big to protect U.S. trade secrets. Unfortunately, some proposed solutions aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. Some industry groups, for example, have suggested adopting new federal trade secret legislation that would not preempt state laws and only cover cases of “international misappropriation,” or only cover misappropriation by or for the benefit of foreign governments, companies, or individuals.
Respectfully, measures of this type don’t address the real issue and aren’t seizing the moment. The real lesson of Chinese cyberhacking is not that China has hackers targeting America, but that U.S. companies’ trade secrets are READ MORE