Technology & The Law I – Deleting files is a Federal crime!!!

“Police Blotter”, over on Ziff-Davis, has a very interesting (and horrifying!) article about a very bad decision published March 8, 2006, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

The result of this decision: deleting files from a computer with a non-recovery program, such that the files can’t be recovered later, can be considered as knowingly causing damage without authorization, and is illegal under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The decision was 3-0, and it didn’t even matter that Citrin’s employment contract with his former employer, IAC (the plaintiff-apellee), specifically authorized him to “return or destroy” data when he left IAC employment.


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