The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: An Overview
The notorious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is the most litigated
federal computer misuse statute in existence. This presentation will cover the
basics of the CFAA, starting with its origins, how Congress intended it to be used,
and how the Department of Justice currently uses it today.
After a brief discussion of the legislative origins of the CFAA in the Orwellian
year of 1984, the presentation will sketch the main statutory components of the law,
focusing specifically on the provisions that prohibit unauthorized access to obtain
information and those that prohibit damage to a computer. Because the CFAA fails
to define what it primarily seeks to prohibit - unauthorized access to a protected
computer - the presentation will then cover the myriad of different interpretations
of unauthorized access.
Finally, the presentation will cover more recent CFAA cases invoking these
different concepts that Tor has worked on as either lead or co-counsel, including
United States v. Auernheimer, (aka weev's case) which is currently on appeal in front
of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. If there is time Tor will take questions.