Jun 10 2015

Understanding the legal repercussions of our cyber actions: Prosecutor invokes Sarbanes Oxley Act in accusing witness of obstruction of justice by deleting browser history

Every decision we make, every action or inaction, has the potential to harm individuals, employees, and their companies. When scanning media outlets, we are constantly inundated with breaking news about the next breach or the most recent corporate cyber blunder. Staying abreast of this ever changing landscape is critical for business executives. Layer 8 Security can keep you ahead of the curve.

Interestingly, here is an article discussing an intentional deletion of a browser cache intended to hide someone’s obstruction of justice relating to the Boston Marathon bombings / Dzhokar Tsarnaev trial: http://truthvoice.com/2015/06/federal-prosecutor-claims-that-clearing-browser-history-is-obstruction-of-justice. A close friend of the Tsarnaev brothers reported to the police his personal interactions with them before the bombing (they had gone out to dinner together the night before the marathon). Shortly after going to the authorities, the gentleman cleared his browser cache possibly in an attempt to distance himself from the bombings; however, the prosecution’s use of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to punish him sets a sticky precedent. The article goes into greater detail about the implications of Sarbanes-Oxley on our digital information.

I can understand both sides of the coin here – if you are a clearing your cache to cover malfeasance, I can see why the US government would want to penalize you. But if the US government feels that no one can delete anything on the slim chance that they might need that evidence (or if the person is unaware they are being investigated), that is a whole different matter.