New Wyoming law will help employers protect their computer systems

June 16, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Bradley T. Cave

A Wyoming law going into effect on July 1 creates a new criminal offense—computer trespassing—that may give employers a new tool to prevent employee sabotage.

Computer trespassing occurs when a person knowingly and without authorization sends malware, data, or a program that (1) alters or damages a computer, system, or network or (2) causes a computer, system, or network to malfunction or disseminate sensitive information. To trigger the law, a person must intend to damage a computer, system, or network or cause the computer, system, or network to malfunction.

The new law may be helpful if former or disgruntled employees attempt to misuse an employer’s computer systems. Employers should adopt technology policies to define when and how employees are authorized to use their computers, systems, and networks. If an employee damages a computer under questionable circumstances, technology policies may help employers draw clear lines on when an employee’s access is unauthorized and pursue civil remedies under the new law.

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Employer access to personal social media accounts may soon be off-limits in New Hampshire

June 04, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Jay Surdukowski
Sulloway & Hollis, P.L.L.C.

On Thursday, June 6, the New Hampshire Senate approved a bill to protect the privacy of employees’ social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But Republicans tacked on an amendment that may doom the bill in the house.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Address Privacy of Text Messages

December 14, 2009 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear arguments in a case involving sexually explicit text messages sent by employees using their employer-provided pagers. The issue for the court is whether the employer violated its employees’ privacy rights by reading the messages.

The case involved several police officers with the Ontario, California, SWAT unit. The Ontario Police Department had a general computer and Internet use policy that prohibited employees from using the department’s computers and Internet service for personal reasons and advised them that they had no expectation of privacy in their use of those items. Employees who received pagers were required to acknowledge the policy and were informed of a 25,000-character limit on text messages sent per moth.

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