Cyber & Technology

Supreme Court Rules in Van Buren v. United States

By Christiana Wayne
Thursday, June 3, 2021, 1:06 PM

On June 3, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Van Buren v. United States, a case involving the Computer Fraud and Abuses Act of 1986 (CFAA). Ruling against the government, the justices held 6-3 that an individual who uses an authorized computer to access permissible areas of the computer—such as files, folders and databases—does not violate the “exceeds authorized access” clause of the CFAA, even if the individual uses the accessed information for a prohibited purpose. Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote for the majority. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion, which Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito joined.

The opinion can be found here and below: