In Van Buren v. United States, the US Supreme Court will soon resolve a circuit split concerning an important computer crime law known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Depending on how it is decided, the case may have several important impacts beyond the criminal space. For one, it may have broad potential consequences for how domestic businesses, websites, and tech companies handle access and use restrictions at work, on social media platforms, in the computer security space, and in any other context where authorized individuals have access to sensitive digital information. Moreover, even international entities with data in or accessible from the United States should be aware of the Court’s pending decision, due to the increasingly cross-border nature of computer networking and data flows. And in addition, the Court’s ruling could set the stage for legislative reform that establishes new lines between lawful and unlawful computer activity.
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