Felony count for being an IT idiot? Could happen

What if your employer could get you thrown in jail on felony charges for violating their internal IT policies and procedures? If a test case currently being heard in Texas leads to conviction and is upheld, that may be the case.

An angry employee, frustrated apparently when fellow employees were laid off, deleted some backup files. He argues that the material was available elsewhere. Maybe, but assume that he really was malcontent and malicious. A case like this should end with a lot of finger pointing, name calling, lawyer fees and a civil lawsuit. I don’t think anyone predicted a felony count for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, (CFAA). But that’s where the case currently sits, which is what grabbed the attention of Andy Greenberg Security and Wired.

If this unusual legal strategy works, IT admins should beware. Today if you screw up you probably get fired. Get discovered doing something intentionally malicious you are going to get sued for damages. A potential felony charge means up to ten years in prison and $250,000 in fines. That’s three or four years salary for many low-level IT admins, and a decade out of the business. To put it bluntly, an idiot who deletes the wrong files could potentially be charged with a felony. Game changer.

Read the full article … https://www.wired.com/2016/06/admin-faces-felony-deleting-files-flawed-hacking-law