According to an article I read recently, the courts in different states have different views on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The case referenced was one in South Carolina in which an employee left the employ of one company but downloaded several proprietary files including pricing terms, pending projects and technical capabilities before leaving. He then took that information to his new employer who promptly was able to win over a major customer with the information.
The original employer sued – and lost. According to the article, “the appellate judges agreed that the employer had sued under an inappropriate law – one designed to prosecute hackers committing genuine fraud, not disloyal employees.”
Courts in other states from Maine and New Hampshire to Illinois, Indiana, Florida and Georgia, among others, have all allowed employers to sue – and win cases – under the CFAA. So while the courts are split on their interpretation and application of the law, the problems employers have with both disloyal employees and actual, genuine fraud and hackers continue.
You might wonder how attorneys represent employers – how can they find out and know that an employee did or did not download confidential or proprietary information. Because here at we provide these types of services regularly, we can say the answer is through a computer forensic examination completed by a computer forensics expert who is a certified computer examiner.
A computer forensic investigation can uncover the truth in situations involving both disloyal employees and computer hacking. Not only will a computer forensics analysis reveal what has happened on the computer, but can also provide spyware detector services and spyware removal services.
In the case of an untrustworthy employee, a computer forensic specialist can complete digital forensics to track activity and recover files that the user may have thought were deleted. Computer data forensics recovery follows a strict protocol which means the computer forensics investigator can become a computer forensics expert witness – both in the protocol used and in the data recovered. Because a computer forensic investigator is an objective third party, their findings are clear of any bias – in other words, they provide the facts without judgment in court.
In the case of fraud or hacking, a computer hacking forensic investigator is able to reveal software and programs that may be spying on the computer owner. Many times, users actually install the spyware inadvertently by surfing the web or opening an email, image or program that runs an installation without the user ever realizing what is happening. Computer forensics electronic discovery covers this situation as well and computer forensics experts act as the spyware detectors and spyware removers.
When these situations arise and attorneys need the truth, has the experience and knowledge to help them find the truth – and can help in court when it really matters.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations