From The Legal Intelligencer

The 3rd Circuit’s decision in Yonkers is significant because, clinic by expressly holding that a civil claim can be asserted under the CFAA, the court has given employers a new weapon to use against employees who access a computer without authorization. Historically, many employers who discovered the theft of computerized information asserted a variety of common law claims, including misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion of property, unfair competition or breach of fiduciary duty.

What this means is that companies (and the government) can use 18 USC 1030 to punish employees for unauthorized access even when the employee’s activities and use of the company data wouldn’t otherwise violate the law. With data crimes, this is of particular concern. The law does this delicate balancing of public access rights with intellectual property rights. While people often disagree about what that balance should be, the law recognizes and tries to accommodate competiting interests. But absolute legal protection of the box in which data resides overrides the more balanced protection of the information inside.