On June 11th, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the NSA’s surveillance program. The ACLU lawsuit alleges that the program violates the First Amendment rights or free speech and association, the right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, and that the surveillance program exceeds the authority provided by the Patriot Act.
ACLU, a customer of Verizon, made the following comments:
This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens.
It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissible limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.
The complaint can be accessed here.
via ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of NSA Phone Spying Program | American Civil Liberties Union.
Employers usually have computer usage policies, which detail that employees can only use computers for work-related purposes. In other words, employees cannot access social networking websites or other unrelated websites. In my practice, I have observed employers monitor and track employees’ computer usage.
A new wrinkle to the computer usage scenario has popped into the Circuit courts. United States v. Nosal, 10-cv-10038 (9th Cir. 2012), examined the issue of criminalization of improper computer usage by an employee. The issues presented at the court where as follows:
Does an employee who violates such a policy commit a federal crime? How about someone who violates the terms of service of a social networking website?
In summary, the Ninth Circuit held that under a strict scrutiny read of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 USC 1030, Congress did not intend to criminalize computer use exceeding authorized access. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the district court that “[t]here is simply no way to read [the definition of ‘exceeds authorized access’] to incorporate corporate policies governing the use of information.” In other words, the CFAA, the anti-hacking statute, is not an expansive misappropriation statute.