Or perhaps the better solution is to follow an age-old piece of advice that company bosses never seem to grasp: don’t treat your employees like sh%$.
The legal claim is that the now former Sysop is claiming that he was specifically authorized to muck about with the network, and so he cannot be charged with unauthorized access.
The back story is he was hired by a friend, and then the company treated his friend very poorly:
Things went well for two years until, out of the blue, the company’s founders fired Cain. Cain suspected the reason for his firing was the founders were looking to sell the company – something they have done repeatedly in the past as serial entrepreneurs – and didn’t want to have to give Cain his cut as the first employee. At the same time they fired Cain – on a Thursday – Thomas was offered a bonus to stay on and take over his friend’s job.
It’s fair to say that Cain was just a tad irritated. And he called Thomas to tell him the news and that he would be suing for wrongful dismissal. And that’s when ClickMotive started having trouble with its IT systems.
That Sunday, Thomas deleted remotely stored backups and turned off the automated backup system. He made some changes to VPN authentication that basically locked everybody out, and turned off the automatic restart. He deleted internal IT wiki pages, removed users from a mailing list, deactivated the company’s pager notification system, and a number of other things that basically created a huge mess that the company spent the whole of Monday sorting out (it turned out there were local copies of the deleted backups).
I’m not sure if Thomas’ case will be reversed on appeal, I kind of doubt it, and I am not sure that I would want it to be overturned, I think that it is implicit in any working relationship that you don’t sabotage your employers.
That being said, the owners of the ClickMove should be subject to what I call a “2 brick vasectomy”.