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Old 12-28-2010, 08:59 AM   #1
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Domestic digital spying

Speaking of internet privacy, is reading your spouse's email a crime?

Man charged with felony for reading wife's e-mail - Weird News - Canoe.ca

A man from Rochester Hills, Mich., could face up to five years behind bars for reading his wife's e-mails.

Oakland County prosecutors have charged Leon Walker, 33, with an anti-hacking felony normally reserved for identity theft or stealing trade secrets, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Leon Walker, Clara Walker's third husband, broke into his wife's Gmail account on her laptop and discovered she was having an affair with her second husband, the newspaper reports.

He then forwarded the damning e-mails to Clara Walker's first husband, who is the father of her young boy. Leon Walker told the Free Press that he had to do it for the sake of the child because the second husband was once arrested for beating Clara in front of the boy.

"I was doing what I had to do," he said. "We're talking about putting a child in danger."

Clara Walker's lawyers said Leon Walker, a computer technician, used his skills to violate his wife's privacy and took it one step further by using what he found against her.

After learning of her husband's digital spying, Clara Walker filed for divorce, which was finalized last month. Her ex-husband is due in court Feb. 7.

"It's going to be interesting because there are no clear legal answers here," Frederick Lane, a Vermont attorney who has published five books on electronic privacy, told the Free Press.

He noted the fact that Walker regularly had access to the computer in the home they shared could work in his favour.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:13 AM   #2
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wow. i guess it all depends on how he read them - i'd imagine logging in as them is way different than cracking their password, etc. it says he broke into her account but doesn't specify how.

he was definitely only looking out for the welfare of her kid, but i suppose the law is the law. though he points out it was their shared computer, which is a good point. if i had my passwords for every site i used saved and an easy to guess password (or none at all) for my username on my computer, is it really an illegal act for someone to read them? a huge invasion of privacy sure, but in a way that'd be like the cyber version of snooping through one's medicine cabinet. note in this instance all i'm talking about is simply logging in, not breaking into one's computer or anything.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what's more confusing the way this law is being used or her lovelife...
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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In general, we quite simply have far too many laws, and too many vested interests involved in tightening the grip of bureacracy and restricting the rights of the citizen.
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
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In general, we quite simply have far too many laws, and too many vested interests involved in tightening the grip of bureacracy and restricting the rights of the citizen.
This is quite a silly example to use for a "restricting the rights of the citizen" rant.

Do you think it should be legal for me to hack into your email? ID theft should be legal?
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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Creepy. Have we NO privacy anymore?
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Creepy. Have we NO privacy anymore?
What do you mean by this?
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:03 PM   #8
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What the Hack ?
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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Robert M. McDowell: The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom - WSJ.com
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:03 PM   #10
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I can fully understand being concerned about the welfare of the child (and of Clara, as she was the one who got beaten up), but there are plenty of other legal ways to go about dealing with such an issue. Clearly he had his suspicions about his wife's activities to begin with (to which I'd add, he is her third husband, the chances of her perhaps not having the steadiest track record of being faithful are pretty high to begin with), so perhaps he should've gone to the police with any potential information/suspicions he had (I say police simply because of the abuse angle. Infidelity in and of itself isn't a crime) and have them look further into the situation. Hacking into one's e-mail isn't the smartest route in the world.

(Course, my question then becomes, if this guy did indeed beat his wife in front of his kid, why isn't he in jail, but if she didn't press charges, then that'd answer that. I'd have thrown him in the slammer regardless, but...*Shrugs*)

Angela
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:51 PM   #11
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Did some of you not read the actual article that started this thread?
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:08 AM   #12
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Is It A Crime To Read A Spouse's E-Mail?

Is reading wife's e-mail a crime? Rochester Hills man faces trial | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

A Rochester Hills man faces up to 5 years in prison -- for reading his wife's e-mail.

Oakland County prosecutors, relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets, have charged Leon Walker, 33, with a felony after he logged onto a laptop in the home he shared with his wife, Clara Walker.

Using her password, he accessed her Gmail account and learned she was having an affair. He now is facing a Feb. 7 trial. She filed for divorce, which was finalized earlier this month.

Legal experts say it's the first time the statute has been used in a domestic case, and it might be hard to prove

"It's going to be interesting because there are no clear legal answers here," said Frederick Lane, a Vermont attorney and nationally recognized expert who has published five books on electronic privacy. The fact that the two still were living together, and that Leon Walker had routine access to the computer, may help him, Lane said.

"I would guess there is enough gray area to suggest that she could not have an absolute expectation of privacy," he said.

About 45% of divorce cases involve some snooping -- and gathering -- of e-mail, Facebook and other online material, Lane said. But he added that those are generally used by the warring parties for civil reasons -- not for criminal prosecution.

"It is an indication of how deeply electronic communication is woven into our lives," Lane said.

Leon Walker was Clara Walker's third husband. Her e-mail showed she was having an affair with her second husband, a man who once had been arrested for beating her in front of her small son. Leon Walker, worried that the child might be exposed to domestic violence again, handed the e-mails over to the child's father, Clara Walker's first husband. He promptly filed an emergency motion to obtain custody.

Leon Walker, a computer technician with Oakland County, was arrested in February 2009, after Clara Walker learned he had provided the e-mails to her first husband.

"I was doing what I had to do," Leon Walker told the Free Press in a recent interview. He has been out on bond since shortly after his arrest. "We're talking about putting a child in danger."

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper defended her decision to charge Leon Walker.

"The guy is a hacker," Cooper said in a voice mail response to the Free Press last week. "It was password protected, he had wonderful skills, and was highly trained. Then he downloaded them and used them in a very contentious way."

Walker's defense attorney, Leon Weiss, said Cooper is "dead wrong" on the law.

"I've been a defense attorney for 34 years and I've never seen anything like this," he said. "This is a hacking statute, the kind of statute they use if you try to break into a government system or private business for some nefarious purpose. It's to protect against identity fraud, to keep somebody from taking somebody's intellectual property or trade secrets.

"I have to ask: 'Don't the prosecutors have more important things to do with their time?' "

Clara Walker, through her attorney, Michael McCulloch, declined an interview with the Free Press.

In the preliminary exam, Clara Walker testified that although Leon Walker had purchased the laptop for her, it was hers alone and she kept the password a secret.

Leon Walker told the Free Press he routinely used the computer and that she kept all of her passwords in a small book next to the computer.

"It was a family computer," he said. "I did work on it all the time."

A jury ultimately will decide.

Several area defense attorneys were astonished by the filing of the criminal charges.

"What's the difference between that and parents who get on their kids' Facebook accounts?" attorney Deborah McKelvy said. "You're going to have to start prosecuting a whole bunch of parents."

The law on e-snooping

Leon Walker is being prosecuted under Michigan statute 752.795, which reads, in part:

"A person shall not intentionally and without authorization or by exceeding valid authorization do any of the following:

"Access or cause access to be made to a computer program, computer, computer system or computer network to acquire, alter, damage delete or destroy property or otherwise use the service of a computer program, computer, computer system or computer network."
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:11 AM   #13
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Oops I didn't read this thread, sorry. I'm so tired

The whole situation is like a soap opera, I would have to agree that hacking is not the best way to go about it.

It's part of a whole umbrella situation, snooping on your spouse or girl or boyfriend online with technology.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
Hacking into one's e-mail isn't the smartest route in the world.
Hacking into one's email is quite smart(and sometimes easy too) But letting people know you have hacked into one's email is idiotic.
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