US v. Cioni

EFF and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers asked a federal appeals court to block the government's attempt to wrongly expand federal computer crime law turning misdemeanor charges into felonies.

In an amicus brief filed in U.S. v. Cioni EFF argued that federal prosecutors abused computer crime law when they brought felony charges against Elaine Cioni for accessing others' email. Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) a first-time unauthorized access offense is a typically a misdemeanor. But in Cioni's trial the government pushed for felony convictions claiming that the CFAA violations were in furtherance of violations of the Stored Communications Act (SCA). However the acts that they claimed violated the SCA were identical to acts that violated the CFAA.

In April 2011 the Fourth Circuit ruled that the CFAA charges against Cioni had been improperly elevated to felonies and sent the case back to the district court to reduce those convictions to misdemeanors.

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

In a blow to universal access, the EU Court of Justice OKs locking open wireless networks behind a registration wall https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Sep 26 @ 4:40pm

Congress approved bonuses for federal staffers who properly declassify records. Problem is nobody's getting the cash https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Sep 26 @ 12:06pm

Join us in telling HP to make amends for its recent Officejet debacle. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Sep 26 @ 10:30am
JavaScript license information