Monday, November 19, 2007

Spying on partner's email? You might want to rethink

People using SpyRecon, eBlaster, or other similar programs to spy on their spouse's email could be looking at serious jail time. An article form the Austin American-Statesman discussed recent cases that have transpired, even one in Austin. Basically, the reading of email without permission can be considered equivalent to illegal wiretapping. It is legal for parents to monitor their children's use of the Internet if the are a minor (this is presumably what the spy software is really for).

Unlawful interception of electronic communication is a second degree felony and holds a max jail time of 20 years. Now, typically people found guilty do not get the max sentence for any crime if plea bargain is reached...however, even going to jail for 5 years would not be fun.
So before you go looking around your partner's email without permission, think if it is worth it to spend a couple of years in jail if you get caught.


cassandra said...

Although I have to agree that it is wrong for people to be snooping around in their spouses email, I do not think that they should have to serve time for it. I think that a fine would be a fair consequence, but serving time seems like a far stretch. Don't get me wrong, I know plenty of friends who have gotten in sooooooo many fights with their boyfriends over stuff that they read in their text-messages, email, facebook, or myspace account without them knowing. I always told them that they should never do it because if the person wanted to share that information with you than they would. What ever happened to trust in a relationship :P

Shane said...

20 years is a long time for just reading your spouses email. I do think that their should be enough trust in the relationship where someone would not have to resort to this but even if they did the penalty seems a little ridiculous to me. Also I wonder if the penalty matters on how many times the person checks their spouses email. What if they just read it a handful of times? Would they still get the same punishment as those that check it on a regular basis.

W. Twomey said...

Pretty crazy stuff. I think it might be a little excessive when your spouse is involved. Maybe she didn't like him very much if she was okay with him getting 4 years in prison for spying on her e-mails. I'm not saying it is something that I would do but I would figure that the penalty would be reserved for stalking and stuff like that.