The consequences for Sewell, a middle school teacher, were considerable. “She basically lost her job,” says Sewell’s attorney, Harvey Mars. And “you can imagine that having something written on the Internet and sent to your family is awful.”Sewell believed that her ex-boyfriend, Phil Bernardin, was responsible. But Internet service provider records first led to his wife, Tara Bernardin. Sewell sued her for violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act.Though Sewell had the wrong defendant, the original case against Tara led her to believe that Phil was the true culprit. But a federal court in New York dismissed her suit against him, saying the statute of limitations for both claims had run because more than two years had passed since the initial AOL breach.In a case of first impression, the Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, drawing a distinction between the AOL breach and the Facebook breach, which had happened within the two-year period. The first compromised account could not have put Sewell on notice of the second, the court ruled. “We take judicial notice of the fact that it is not uncommon for one person to hold several or many Internet… Read full this story
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