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For the people who skipped the article and assumed that the case was about some stupid office policy:

> Valle was also charged with violating the CFAA for accessing a police database to look up information about people without a valid law enforcement purpose, in violation of NYPD policy.

This is not a typical "employer policy". This a policy about access to sensitive private data that is only available to the government. Wouldn't you want improper access to such data punished?




He was apparently fired for violating his terms of employment, so he was punished, but not criminally punished. While I am very disturbed that a major restraint (the threat of criminal prosecution) has been taken off the table for abuse of sensitive private government data, I'm happy that it has been taken off the table for me as well, as a non-government employee that only has access to sensitive company private data.

Quote from the appeals court ruling: "Valle concedes that he violated the terms of his employment by putting his authorized computer access to personal use..."

Ref: <http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/12/repugnant-online-...


But it's not defined. This strikes down the ability to use arbitrary office policy under any conditions as the basis for criminal prosecution.

It's easy enough to pass a law stating that the use of police databases for anything other than the pursuit of justice is a crime itself... But I'd rather have to go through the process of creating a specific law than to know a court upheld my employer's right to basically write criminal law into the same policy manual that describes if I have to wear a tie or not.


In this case, I would either want the NYPD to control access to their own database more effectively (which is perfectly within their power) or I would want the law to be written much more narrowly, so it couldn't apply to "typical employer policy". Essentially, I don't want to have to rely on prosecutorial restraint.




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