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Soon after Matthew Broderick starred in the 1983 movie “WarGames,” Congress passed the precursor to what is known today as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). When initially passed, this ominous-sounding statute was designed to criminally punish individuals who misused computer technology to obtain national security secrets or personal financial records or hacked into government computers (à la Broderick’s character). Today, this statute has been amended to protect against fraud and related activities in connection with access devices and computers, and to provide civil remedies. Put another way, the CFAA is to computers what trespassing and burglary are to real property.

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