New Developments: SCOTUS Upholds CFAA Conviction of Former Executive

“Supreme Court Issues CFAA decision in Michael Musacchio v. United States”

Antony P. Kim, Aravind Swaminathan and Garret G. Rasmussen of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP reported:

“On Monday, January 25th, the Supreme Court issued the most recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act decision in Michael Musacchio v. United States. After leaving his employer to start his own company, the defendant (a former executive) continued to use his password and login credentials to get access to his now former employer’s computer and e-mail system. The government charged the Musacchio with violating the CFAA for intentionally accessing his former employer’s computer systems without authorization. However, at trial the court instructed the jury incorrectly that a CFAA violation required proof that he gained unauthorized access and exceeded authorized access. The CFAA, however, only requires proof that the individual either “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access.” The Supreme Court upheld his conviction, explaining that “[w]hen a jury finds guilt after being instructed on all elements of the charged crime plus one more element, the jury has made all the findings that due process requires.” Read more…