Tharpe v. Lawidjaja, 2014 WL 1268820 (W.D. Va. Mar. 26, 2014): Court’s dicta reaffirms that use of spyware can violate the CFAA and ECPA

Court’s dicta reaffirms that use of spyware can violate the CFAA and ECPA

In footnote 34 of Tharpe v. Lawidjaja, 2014 WL 1268820 (W.D. Va. Mar. 26, 2014), the court cites an unpublished opinion of the Fourth Circuit and states:

“As Defendant acknowledges, the installation and use of spyware is potentially a criminal act. See, e.g.United States v. Trout, 369 F. Appx 493 (4th Cir. 2010) (unpublished) (affirming admission of spyware evidence under Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) where county councilman was convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 1030, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 2511, related to the use of spyware; the Court held ‘that the evidence pertaining to Trout’s history with the other council members … and other county staff is intertwined with and provided context to Trout’s conduct underlying the charges’).”

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