Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Deleting Files is a Crime?
"A former employee of International Airport Centers, who is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with them, returned his company laptop as required. Hoping to find incriminating evidence, I.A.C. attempted to retrieve deleted information from the laptop in question with no success. This
employee had beaten them to the punch. He had used 'secure delete' software, in order to make sure nothing could be recovered. He is now being charged with a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act."
Jacob Citrin was once employed by International Airport Centers and given a laptop to use in his company's real estate related business. The work consisted of identifying "potential acquisition targets."
At some point, Citrin quit IAC and decided to continue in the same business for himself, a choice that IAC claims violated his employment contract.
Normally that would have been a routine business dispute. But the twist came when Citrin dutifully returned his work laptop--and IAC tried to undelete files on it to prove he did something wrong.
IAC couldn't. It turned out that (again according to IAC) Citrin had used a "secure delete" program to make sure that the files were not just deleted, but overwritten and unrecoverable.

Hmmm, note to all - if you consult, dont sign the proforma employment contract without considering all of the terms and dont accept anything on face value (especially the IP Ownership term that everyone seems to want to put into my contract about owning the rights to any and all IP that I develop during the course of employment....yeh right, start paying me for 168 hours a billable week and we may negotiate a percentage but until then dont even kid yourself that you own my concept development 24 hours a day).


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