Lack of $5k Loss Leads to Dismissal of CFAA Claim Against Ex-Spouse for Surreptitious Computer Monitoring

In Morgan v. Preston, 2013 WL 5963563 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 7 2013), the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim brought by one ex-spouse against the other.

The basis for the CFAA claim was, following their separation and filing for divorce, the one spouse had installed Spector Pro monitoring software that was designed to capture all user activity on the computer without a user knowing, including all passwords typed, all emails sent and received, as well as all other activity which information it then automatically uploaded to a designated website or email address.

The reason the court dismissed the CFAA claim was because the plaintiff failed to meet the jurisdictional threshold for a civil claim by establishing a $5,000 loss.


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