Nascimento worked as a cashier at the deli counter of a convenience store which had a lottery terminal. The store allowed employees to sell and validate lottery tickets for paying customers but prohibited them from purchasing lottery tickets for themselves or validating their own tickets. Nascimento was caught printing lottery tickets for herself and charged and convicted in Oregon state court of not only theft, but also "computer crime" for accessing the lottery terminal "without authorization." The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed her computer crime conviction, ruling that since she only had "limited authorization" to access the lottery terminal to print tickets for customers, she acted without authorization when she printed tickets for herself.
Nascimento asked the Oregon Supreme Court to review her case and we filed an amicus brief in support. We argue that review is necessary because the appellate court's ruling—that individuals who violate employer computer use policies are also guilty of violating the state's computer crime statute—turns millions of unsuspecting individuals into criminals on the basis of innocuous, everyday behavior. We've successfully argued to courts reviewing the federal computer crime statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"), to reject this interpretation. Since the Oregon statute and the CFAA have similar language, we argue the Oregon Supreme Court should follow the federal courts that have rejected this expansive interpretation of computer crime law.
On June 4, 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court granted review and will hear argument in the case on November 12, 2015.
J. Ashlee Albies of Creighton & Rose, PC in Portland, Oregon served as EFF's local counsel.