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Non-Compete Blog

Posts from March 2014.

Federal circuits around the country are also split on whether to interpret the CFAA narrowly or broadly. A recent decision in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania weighed in on the significant split of authority among the federal circuit courts concerning the interpretation of the CFAA. Dresser-Rand Co. v. Jones, No. 10-2013, 2013 WL 3810859 (E.D. Pa. July 23, 2013). In Dresser-Rand, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania adopted the narrow interpretation of the CFAA and ruled that departing managers from a company did not access company computers “without authorization,” nor “exceed authorized access,” in violation of the CFAA when they downloaded thousands of company documents to external storage devices from their work laptops, since they had unrestricted access to such documents. In coming to its decision, the court weighed in on the split in federal circuits concerning the interpretation of the CFAA. The court noted that the “broad” and “narrow” labels have been helpfully divided into three categories: agency-basedauthorization, code-based authorization, and contract-based authorization.

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