The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) just got a bit more interesting (as if such things are possible). An en banc Ninth Circuit jumped into the fray of interpreting the scope of the CFAA and split with its sister circuits. At issue was the meaning of the term "exceeds authorized access" within the CFAA. The defendant claimed "it could refer to someone who's authorized to access only certain data or files but accesses unauthorized data or files." The government claimed it "could refer to someone who has unrestricted physical access to a computer, but is limited in the use to which he can put the information." In rejecting the government's view and splitting with other circuits, the court endorsed the defendant's view and affirmed the district court's dismissal of certain counts of the indictment, based on the government's interpretation.
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