Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) claim earlier this week that the CIA violated provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) when it accessed computers used by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, could be hard to substantiate, according to a leading legal expert.For one thing, it’s not clear whether the CIA had rights to the accessed computers, at least as defined under the CFAA, said Orin Kerr, a law professor at the George Washington University Law School and a former trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.It’s also not clear if the restrictions the Intelligence Committee had in place for governing access to the computers were strong enough to trigger a CFAA access violation claim, Orin wrote in a blog for Lawfare.Earlier this week, Feinstein accused the CIA of illegally accessing computers used by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the agency’s detention and interrogation practices during the George W. Bush administration.The CIA set up the Intelligence Committee’s computers at a facility in northern Virginia to enable committee members to review tens of thousands of documents, memos, and other files pertaining to the CIA’s interrogation practices.The only CIA officials who were supposed to have access to… Read full this story
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