The rogue Twitter employee who deleted Trump’s account could face hacking charges

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Despite some onlookers calling him — or her — a hero, the anonymous Twitter employee who pulled the plug on President Donald Trump's Twitter account before leaving the company may want to lawyer up, according to experts on computer law. Whether or not Twitter pursues legal action against its former worker, federal officials could be motivated to prosecute — if only to deter future cases, analysts say. “If I were this employee, I'd be hiring a good criminal defense lawyer who knows something about the CFAA,” said Paul Ohm, a law professor at Georgetown University.  The CFAA — short for the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act — is the federal government's premiere anti-hacking law. It's been used, controversially, to go after information activists such as Aaron Swartz as well as the former Reuters journalist Matthew Keys. And it gives the government wide latitude to pursue those who have allegedly accessed a computer “without authorization” or in ways that exceed the level of authorization they've been given. “If this was beyond what the employee was authorized to do, one could argue he ‘exceeded authorized access,’ ” said Chris Calabrese, vice president of policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology. He added: “[That's] a phrase we've critiqued, because it empowers private actors to exercise criminal penalties over what are essentially contractual/civil disputes.”


The rogue Twitter employee who deleted Trump’s account could face hacking charges