Interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Lee Goldman


Computers play an integral role in today’s society.  While computers provide many benefits, they are increasingly used as tools for wrongdoing, causing estimated losses of billions of dollars each year. Computer hackers can, among other things, fraudulently alter accounts, steal business or personal information, and corrupt or disable computer systems.  Congress enacted and has repeatedly amended the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) to combat the increasing proliferation of computer crimes. This article argues that the Courts of Appeals have not adequately interpreted the foundational terms of the Act and recommends an interpretation of the Act that builds upon the narrower definitions to comprehensively define the scope of the Act’s coverage.

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