Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (“CADRA”) Task Force

Robert Kain


What is CADRA

The Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (CADRA), Fla. Stat. § 668.801, was signed into law by Governor Scott on May 14, 2015 [click for a .pdf of CADRA]. After approval by the Business Law Section, CADRA was introduced into the Florida Legislature by Sen. Hukill (Ocala) and Rep. Spano (Riverview).

The Act was a result of nearly 20 meetings over a 2 ½ year period with members of the Computer Law, Intellectual Property and Business Litigation Committees. Robert Kainspearheaded the Task Force to draft and hone the proposed legislation, with support from many members of these committees, including, in alphabetical order:
Kimberly Bursum
Michael Chesal
Jude Cooper
Ury Fischer
Larry Kunin
Russ Landy
Sam Lewis
Jim Murphy
Andy Ostrow
Woody Pollack
Joel Rothman
Mark Stein
Dineen Wasylik

The Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (CADRA) protects owners, operators and lessees of protected computers and owners of information stored in protected computers from hackers and others who misappropriate passwords or override technologic access barriers in protected computers.  CADRA is limited to business operations using protected computers which store business information.  “Protected computers” are computers which are password protected or which utilize technological access barriers such as security codes, security tokens, key fobs or other access control devices for hardware, software or digital information.  Further details of the Act, please see the enclosed White Paper presented to the Business Law Section.

The CADRA Task Force

A Joint Task Force was initially formed in September 2012 by the Intellectual Property Committee and the Computer Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar as a result of Robert Kain’s article titled “Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act - Employee Hacking: Legal in California and Virginia But Illegal In Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Miami.”  Kain ultimately published a similarly titled Florida Bar Journal article.  Fla. Bar Jour. vol 87, no. 1, Jan 2013. Robert Kain, former chair and founding member of the I.P. Certification Committee, was appointed chair of the Task Force and the group met twelve (12) times over the next nine (9) months, reporting out an initial version of the Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (CADRA) to the Intellectual Property Committee and the Computer Law Committee at its June 27, 2013 meeting.  Although CADRA was well received by the IP Committee and the Computer Law Committee, the Business Litigation Committee raised some valid concerns about the scope and operability of the initial version of the Act.

To address these newly raised issues, a second Task Force was convened in September 2013 consisting of members of the IP Committee, the Computer Law Committee and the Business Litigation Committee.  This second Task Force simplified the scope and remedies sections of the Act.  Ultimately in September 2014, CADRA was approved by the three substantive law committees and then approved by the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section.