On October 3, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (“ECPA”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510 2522, applies to foreign citizens, giving them the same privacy protections Congress afforded U.S. citizens in connection with the disclosure of electronic data by third-parties service providers.
In early 2011, the Federal Communications Commission will launch a new, updated website and become the first major federal agency to utilize cloud computing technology to completely support its principal web presence. By moving to cloud technology, the FCC hopes to give a boost to this increasingly popular technology and to improve the FCC’s technology platform. In announcing its move to cloud computing, the FCC’s Managing Director stated, “given that we oversee an industry that should lead this country in innovation, we want to lead the government in the things we do every day as well.” Terremark will manage the FCC’s transition to cloud computing.
Congress enacted the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) 18 U.S.C. § 1030 et seq., in 1984 to combat hackers and to address federal computer-related offenses. The CFAA prohibits individuals from “intentionally access[ing] a computer without authorization or exceed[ing] authorized access, and thereby obtain[ing] … information from any protected computer.” See 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C). A “protected computer” includes a computer “exclusively for the use of a financial institution or the United States Government” or a computer that is “used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication.” See 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(2). The CFAA provides for criminal fines and penalties as well as a private civil right of action to remedy violations. See 18 U.S.C. § 1030(g). Civil remedies are limited to economic damages. Id.