Lenovo and Superfish Sued Under The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Written by Keenan W. Ng

It was recently discovered that Lenovo has been selling laptops with preinstalled adware that creates a catastrophic security hole in the web browser leaving users vulnerable to hacks. Superfish, a small company in Palo Alto, develops the adware. Plenty has been written about the technical aspects of the security flaw and more will be written going forward.  As the ramifications of the Superfish vulnerability play out in the community, at least two lawsuits* have been filed. More lawsuits certainly will come. One of these cases, Sterling International Consulting Group (“SICG”) v. Lenovo, Inc. and Superfish, Inc.(collectively, “Lenovo”), alleges violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. SICG seeks class action certification and was filed in the Northern District of California. The problem with Sterling is that the plaintiffs may have a hard time establishing the authorization element of the CFAA.


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NovelPoster Files Amicus Brief in United States v. Nosal

Written by Michael S. Dorsi

San Francisco-based NovelPoster, having settled its Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim against Javitch Canfield Group, filed a brief as amicus curiae in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case of United States v. Nosal (9th Cir. Case Nos. 14-10037 and 14-10275).

While the NovelPoster and Nosal cases originated differently — NovelPoster was a civil action and Nosal is a criminal prosecution — both cases touched on an important question: is a person liable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for acting without authorization — a term that applies equally in civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions — if the actions in question did not involve circumventing a technical or code-based access barrier.

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Opinion Roundup: California District Courts and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, July 2014 through February 2015 – Part One

Author: Scripta Ad Astra Staff

This week, we will have a two-part series on all of the substantive California district court Computer Fraud and Abuse Act opinions from July 2014 through February 2015. These posts are a follow up to a three – part series I wrote last summer discussing CFAA opinions from January 2014 through June 2014.

I decided to include some 2015 opinions in this Round Up because (1) there were not that many substantive opinions in the latter half of 2014 and (2) because I was a bit tardy on getting this post up – I figured I would bring you up to speed.

The next post will be on Friday, March 20. I hope you check it out!

Sprint Solutions, Inc. v. Pacific Cellupage Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101397 (C.D. Cal. July 21, 2014)

Judge: Christina A. Snyder, United States District Judge.

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Opinion Roundup: California District Courts and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, July 2014 through February 2015 – Part Two

Author: Scripta Ad Astra Staff

This is the second part of a two part-series on federal district court opinions in California regarding the CFAA. The first part of this series can be found here.

NetApp, Inc. v. Nimble Storage, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11406 (N.D. Cal. January 29, 2015)(“NetApp II”)

Judge: Lucy H. Koh, United States District Judge

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Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins: The Defense Risked a Split Verdict

Written by Michael Dorsi

As this post goes up, the jury in Ellen Pao v. Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers has been sent back to deliberate on the fourth claim — that Ellen Pao was fired in retaliation for her bringing this lawsuit.

The case has been closely watched for the scrutiny of the culture of Kleiner Perkins, venture capital, and Silicon Valley, which Ms. Pao’s attorneys characterized as a boy’s club. In the end, only two of the twelve jurors agreed with Ms. Pao’s case concerning gender discrimination, but two more found that Ms. Pao was the victim of retaliation.

While watching Kleiner Perkins’ attorney Lynne Hermle give her closing argument, I suspected that there could be a split verdict, finding Kleiner Perkins liable only for retaliation, not for gender discrimination.

What did not cross my mind in the audience was that the jury might end up without a sufficient majority on the fourth claim, or more bizarre result today: that the jury thought they had enough votes, but counted wrong.

Kleiner Perkins Story of Ellen Pao in Performance Reviews

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