On 4 June, an article from DLA Piper reported on the outcome of a recent Supreme Court case involving a police officer in Georgia who was authorised to access material on the computer system, but raised questions as to the illegality of the extent and use made of the information. It was held that that a person does not “exceed authorized access” to a “protected computer” under the Act when using information obtained from accessing that computer for an unauthorised purpose. The Act creates criminal and civil liability for any person who “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorised access, and thereby obtains” virtually any type of information stored on any computer connected to the Internet. The article warns that the decision will largely gut the Act as a tool for addressing insider data theft. It says that the implications of the decision are “staggering” and outlines some immediate steps for organisations to consider in light of the ruling.
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