Orin Kerr writes:
The federal computer crime statutes punish unauthorized access to a computer. As regular readers know, courts are hopelessly divided on what this language means, and in particular what makes an access to a computer authorized versus unauthorized. In Cheng v. Romo, 2012 WL 6021369 (D. Mass. Nov. 28 2012), Judge Casper authored an opinion on an interesting wrinkle that I’ve pondered but that hasn’t come up before in published decisions: How do computer crime statutes apply when one party gives his password to another party for some limited uses, but the latter party uses the password for broader uses? Is the accessing with the password but beyond the implicit or explicit limit “unauthorized” for purposes of the computer crime laws?
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