Archive for October 2011

NEW JERSEY LAWYERS PONDER RECENT DECISION DEFINING THE REACH OF NEW JERSEY’S COMPUTER CRIME LAW WITHIN THE SCOPE OF AN EMPLOYEE ACCESSING COMPUTER FILES OF AN EMPLOYER.

According to a recent decision, the computer crime law in New Jersey does not cover an employee with password protected privileges who gains access to electronic data in violation of the employer’s internal policies regarding access to the data. If, however, additional facts and circumstances warrant a conclusion that the employee access also constitute fraud, theft of trade secrets or malicious destruction of evidence then the computer crime law would be applicable. The Court reviewed legislative history in interpreting the phrase “unauthorized access” as set forth in the law. After a thorough review of legislative history, the Court concluded the New Jersey legislature did not intend to impose criminal sanctions upon an insider, such as employee, who accesses electronic data via a company computer solely in violation of company policy.

Legal Quote of the Week:

To ask for overt renunciation of a cherished doctrine is to expect too much of human nature. Men do not repudiate the doctrines and dogmas to which they have sworn their loyalty. Instead, they rationalize, revise, and reinterpret them to meet new needs and new circumstances, all the while protesting that their heresy is the purest orthodoxy.

William Fulbright, Old Myths and New Realities, 1964