In the eternal battle between students and administrators, it’s not unusual for social media to enter the mix these days.

Even way back in 2008, a judge had to rule that students could justly be suspended for a parody MySpace account of their principal. However, having the subject of a fake social media account actually try to use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) against the fakers remains a rarity.

This year, Oregon high school principal Adam Matot did just that.

After students took to social media using his name and likeness to post some obscene materials, Matot filed suit against the students and their parents. Matot and his attorney argued the incident constituted defamation and negligent supervision while also falling under the CFAA.

The premise for Matot’s CFAA claim was based on the students using protected computers in a way that “exceeded authorized access,” according to court documents (PDF). Last week, however, a judge in an Oregon district court granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss the case.

The court found that previous rulings frowned on this CFAA theory (particularly when restrictions are in a user agreement, noted Venkat Balasubramani on the blog of law professor and occasional Ars contributor Eric Goldman). So the claim was ultimately rejected.     

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