Spam Arrest, LLC v. Replacements, Ltd., 2013 WL 4675919 (W.D. Wa. Aug. 29, 2013)

Spam Arrest, LLC v. Replacements, Ltd., 2013 WL 4675919 (W.D. Wa. Aug. 29, 2013) (9th Cir)

Where plaintiff gave authorization to access its computers to anyone for the purpose of sending emails, even if a sender completes the verification process by falsely indicating that the email she sends is not spam, under the Ninth Circuit’s narrow interpretation the user still has authorization to access plaintiff’s computers and the access does not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

“[N]o Ninth Circuit court has ever held that the mere act of
sending an email constitutes access to a computer through
which the email passes on the way to its recipient.”

Plaintiff’s CFAA claim also fails for at least two of the
reasons: It cannot prove that Defendant (as opposed to its employees) accessed Plaintiff’s computers; and it cannot prove (except for seven
customers) that Defendant sent emails to Plaintiff’s
customers without their consent (and thus that whatever
“access” Defendant had to Plaintiff’s computers was
unauthorized).

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