Judge narrowed down federal computer fraud regulations

Scottus News

Supreme Court Thursday Refused The government’s broad interpretation of a federal law that makes it a crime to “exceed authorized access” on a computer. The court overturned the conviction of a Georgia police officer who searched the official police database for personal purposes with a 6-3 vote and an ideologically chaotic lineup. Justice Amy Connie Barrett wrote the majority opinion.

case, Van Buren v. United StatesThis is the first serious review of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 by the Supreme Court. This is an important incident, because the government has been applying the law quite extensively in recent years, believing that users “exceed unauthorized access” (and therefore face federal criminal liability) whenever they use computer-generated data for reasons that are not allowed. Information time. For example, in this case, police officer Nathan Van Buren (Nathan Van Buren) legally accessed computerized license plate records, but his use of this information for private purposes led to a federal criminal prosecution, which the court has now dismissed.

Barrett wrote that the relevant provisions of the CFAA “cover people who obtain information from certain areas of the computer (such as files, folders, or databases) whose computers cannot access these areas. It does not include those who have access to areas like Van Buren. People with improper motives to obtain information that they can obtain through other means.”

The six justices consist of three conservatives (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Barrett) and the court’s three liberals (Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor) And Justice Elena Kagan). Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an objection, and Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito also joined the objection.

Check back soon for an in-depth analysis of opinions.

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