Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Litigation

The realities of the modern economy—with its near-total reliance on the electronic storage, retrieval, and manipulation of information—require prudent employers to take steps to protect their electronic communications and storage capabilities.  Among the tools available are the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) found at 18 U.S.C. §1030.

Statutes such as the federal CFAA and its state corollary the Virginia Computer Crimes Act can only be properly understood when we keep in mind the purposes for which they were created—namely, to address intentional wrongdoing that is not covered by more traditional common-law causes of action (such as breach of fiduciary duty or tortious interference with a contract) and to compensate litigants for damages not traditionally covered by the common-law (such as the costs of investigation and repair of computer networks caused by the malicious use of a computer).

For those reasons among others, Congress found it necessary to re-define certain legal terms in the CFAA, and at least part of the confusion found in CFAA case law stems from this need.  Old and familiar common-law concepts–such as “injury,” “loss,” and “damage”—do not have their traditional meaning in the CFAA; rather, in this context they are specially-defined terms of art.

In other words, “damage” in the world of computer torts does not mean “damage” in the sense that a trained legal mind has come to see that term.  Without question, at least some of the confusion caused by the CFAA has sprung from the process of redefining ancient terms of art such as “damage” and “injury.”

The lawyers of K&G Law Group, PLLC have extensive experience with Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims and VCCA claims. To tell us more about your potential CFAA case, click here or call 703-649-5500.