Here are the noteworthy trade secret, non-compete and cybersecurity stories from the past week, as well as one or two that I missed over the past couple of weeks:


Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Posts and Cases:
As many of you know, technology activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide last week after plea negotiations with federal prosecutors over his indictment under the CFAA broke down. Swartz was facing a criminal trial in April on charges relating to his effort to “liberate” the JSTOR database, a database of academic and scientific journals maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His profoundly sad story has struck a chord with many, and as a result, there has been an outpouring about his death and the propriety of the criminal charges brought against him. 
Many are calling for an amendment to narrow the scope of the CFAA and heeding those requests, Congresswoman Zoe Lufgren (D-CA) has introduced a bill that she believes will address the CFAA’s shortcomings.
Here are some of those and other relevant posts that I have come across this week:

  • “Web Activist’s Suicide Highlights Tech Law,” writes Joe Palazzolo for The Wall Street Journal.

  • “How To Honor Aaron Swartz: In the wake of the brilliant technology activist’s death, let’s fix the draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” advises Marcia Hoffman for Slate

  • “Anti-hacking law questioned after death of Internet activist,” writes John Roach for

  • “Swartz death immortalizes hacking law woes,” notes Scott Martin for USA Today.

  • Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig also advocates reform in a post entitled “Aaron’s Law” for The Atlantic.

  • George Washington Professor Orin Kerr, who is former federal prosecutor but no fan of a broad interpretation of the CFAA, has written a post for The Volokh Conspiracy
    analyzing the prosecution. In that post, Professor Kerr concludes that the charges were brought under a fair reading of the CFAA. He has promised a follow up post on whether the federal prosecutors exercised their discretion properly in this case.

  • Finally, Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson provide their timely take on the prosecution for Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog. 


Trade Secret and Non-Compete Posts and Cases:

  • Preemptive filings over whether the law of California (which forbids non-competes) or other states applies are common in non-compete disputes. Kenneth Vanko has a post detailing a recent decision by New York’s influential First Appellate Department, Aon v. Cusack, rejecting an effort by a group of employees to race to California and secure that forum to invalidate their non-competes. Epstein Becker’s Trade Secrets & Noncompete Blog and Jackson Lewis’ Non-Compete & Trade Secret Report Blog also have posts on this decision.

  • AMD has secured a TRO against 4 former employees who left to join competitor Nivida in Massachusetts, reports Todd Sullivan in his Trade Secrets & Employee Defections Blog.

  • The Department of Justice has issued what it purports to be a summary of all of the trade secret prosecutions undertaken since 2007 (it is hardly a summary as it’s 82 pages long, single-spaced).  For those actually looking for a summary, Jessica Mendelson has a post and link to the report on Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog.

  • Kenneth Vanko has another post providing an update on a Maryland bill that has been introduced to ban non-competes.

  • Employers would do well to remember the bitterness that might flow enforcement of a non-compete, advises Brian Bialas for Foley & Hoag’s Massachusetts Noncompete Blog in a post, “The Human Factor in Noncompete Disputes: Howie Carr is Still Upset Over 5 Years After His Lawsuit with WRKO.”

  • A Pittsburgh hospital has threatened to enforce its non-competes against former staff and physicians, Jonathan Pollard is reporting in the non-compete blog.

  • “2012 Showed Courts Willing To Enforce Noncompetes,” writes Ben James for Law360.

  • For those who have not gotten enough of the Amazon v. Powers (Google case), check out “Legal lessons from Amazon’s ‘noncompete’ battle with Google,” by William Carleton for Geekwire.

  • “12 Ways to (Legally) Spy on Your Competitors,” recommends Carol Tice for Entrepreneur.

Cybersecurity Articles and Posts:

  • “Cyberlaw Predictions: Data Security, Cloud Computing, and Identity Management,” foresees Thomas O’Toole for BNABloomberg’s e-Commerce & Tech Law Blog. 

  • “The Internet of Things Has Arrived — And So Have Massive Security Issues,” announces Wired in an opinion piece by Andrew Rose.