Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A Scary, Outrageous, News Item

I interrupt my holiday to bring you the follow import news:

A Michigan father faces up to five years in prison for snooping in his then-wife’s e-mail account in the first known domestic case for unauthorized e-mail login.

Leon Walker, 33, a computer technician from Rochester Hills, Michigan, easily logged into his then-wife’s Gmail account last year when he suspected she was having an affair with her second husband (she was). The two shared a laptop at home and, according to Walker, his wife kept her passwords in a notebook next to the computer, AP reports.”

Please click here to read the whole item. Your comments/reaction are welcome..

December 29, 2010 - Posted by | News, tech


  1. Yes, I agree that news item is absolutely outrageous and scary!

    The issue of the husband snooping into his wives email “should remain between them, it being a private matter” and not with the courts or any disciplinarians.

    It can be disappointing to have someone invade our privacy, by snooping etc., but that expectation of privacy, especially when she left her pass word close by is way off course, with her values and principles way out of balance.

    …a further addition to our already messed up world…



    Comment by Gaia | December 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      This smacks to me of what is not a new story.. some DA wants to take a Law written to do “A”, and “stretch” (or “twist”) it to do “B” and by doing so, set precedent and make a name/political career for themselves. You see it (seemingly) everyday, actually.
      People used to call that “misuse of power”, but today, if it fits in with some (usually social-change) agenda.. it works.

      Also, the Law is trying to “keep up with” the changes our new technology has brought.. and in many people’s opinions, it ain’t doing a very good job of it… Which makes sense, as typically neither the judge nor the jury have any clue how tech actually works.

      From your perspective, Dear Reader, one of my favorite writers recently wrote an article I think everyone should read: You are probably breaking at least one law with your computer right now.

      Sigh. People have been unhappy with lawyers for a very long time… If you doubt that, see Shakespeare, Henry VI, part 2. (Also, you might try Googling “lawyer jokes”.) Funny thing to me is, most don’t seem to understand why.


      Comment by techpaul | December 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Yes Paul, again I agree! I hesitated to touch the Political Aspect of this,since many readers are here… The pendulum has swung… so much to the other side …in many situations, and the subject is broad, both for men and women.
    It’s the people in power we trust to make intelligent,logical, honest decisions for us, seems like that no longer applies.



    Comment by Gaia | December 30, 2010 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      It has been a long, long time since the courts have not been used for political purposes, and to advance (or thwart) social change.
      And generate revenue.

      My understanding was their (courts of law) purpose was to settle disputes between citizens (as opposed to, say, settling the issue at 20 paces with pistols) and to protect the law abiding by punishing the lawless, to have an orderly and functional society.

      But I’m not very bright.. and I could be mistaken about that.


      Comment by techpaul | December 30, 2010 | Reply

  3. lol….a case for checking someone’s email..
    There has to be more to it…



    Comment by Grr | December 30, 2010 | Reply

  4. I think some people are jumping in on this without giving the situation much thought.
    A question here arises on the “expectation of privacy”. Do we say a spouse has no rights to privacy, and if we do do we extend that to cohabitating couples, straight only or including gays. And if we decide some level of privacy is allowed, how much? Does the fact that her email was password protected not indicate she expected privacy? Does the fact that her password was left where her husband had easy access to it abnegate her right to privacy and, if it does, does that only apply to spouses or at what point does carelessness with passwords etc mean you have no legal recourse for invasion of privacy?
    Contrary to what some commentators on this, and other sites, have said regarding the self-agrandisement, or “political correctness” of DAs in general or in particular (I’m British and live in the UK so have no axe to grind here) I was under the impression cases like this were often brought to actually test the law. The law is often written with a degree of ambiguity and the only way to discover it’s limits is to test them in court. Unless, of course, you already know all the answers.


    Comment by sunovawot | December 31, 2010 | Reply

    • sunovawot,
      Is “privacy” even a “right” anymore?


      Yes, I agree with your points, and I think this will be an interesting case to watch.

      Thank you for the thoughtful, and thought provoking, reply.


      Comment by techpaul | December 31, 2010 | Reply

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