Van Buren v. the United States is an interesting one.

What Did Nathan Van Buren do?

Nathan Van Buren, a Georgia police sergeant, was charged with violating the Computer Fraud And Abuse Act (CFAA) when he used his government credentials and resources to obtain information for his personal gain.

Why Was This Wrong?

Well, not only did Van Buren use government resources to obtain private information for his personal gain, but he also “exceeded authorized access” by going into the database to obtain information for personal use.

How Did Nathan Van Buren Get Caught?

The FBI followed Nathan Van Buren from a previous claim, and the FBI staged a trap to catch him in the act. Once caught, the FBI charged him with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Nathan Van Buren was convicted however, sometime later, Van Buren appealed to the court, mentioning that he did not “exceed authorized access” according to the CFAA because he was authorized to access the computer and database since he was a police sergeant. As a result, the Supreme Court withdrew Van Buren’s conviction under the CFAA.


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