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Monday, December 27, 2010

Is reading wife's e-mail a crime? Rochester Hills man faces trial

From the Detroit Free Press (h/t @packet_storm):
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.
This part is worth quoting:
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.
So using a password he got from her password book sitting next to the computer was "hacking." I will definitely keep an eye on this case.

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