Video: Man faces 5 years in prison for reading wife’s e-mail

posted at 11:00 am on December 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Can a person check his spouse’s e-mail without running afoul of anti-hacker laws? Apparently not in Michigan, where Leon Walker faces five years in prison as a result of his snooping during an ugly end to his marriage. Today looks at Walker’s investigation of his wife’s alleged infidelity, assisted in no small part by the lack of security on her e-mail account:

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Walker says he conducted his snooping before the marriage fell apart; his estranged wife says it happened months after she filed for divorce. He says she had given him permission in earlier transactions to access her e-mail; she says that he installed a “hacking device” that allowed him to capture the data. The success or failure of the prosecution will probably rest on which allegations are true, and it may be impossible to unravel which competing claims come closest to the truth.

But should the law apply to spouses at all? Michigan is not a community-property state, but at least in those states that assume half-interests in all property acquired or possessed during the marriage (states vary on the application), e-mail would appear to qualify as property, giving spouses an interest. This is no mere academic question either, as spousal snooping is quite common, and not just in formal marriages:

Earlier this year, Retrevo.com, a consumer electronics shopping and review site, polled 1,000 U.S. residents of varying age, gender, income and location to see whether they have ever spied on their significant others’ e-mail. The results showed that 38 percent of those under 25 who are in a dating relationship have “snooped.” Ten percent of the spies in that age group discovered the other person was unfaithful.

Retrevo’s study found that 36 percent of people in committed relationships have spied on a partner’s e-mail and call logs. Of those, only 3 percent found incriminating evidence.

I agree with Today’s analyst, who suggests that if the state wants anti-hacking and privacy laws to apply to spouses, they should write laws specific to that situation.  In this case, it seems like a prosecutorial innovation and an application of criminal law where divorce court would be a better forum for adjudication.   As Walker’s attorney warns, if we start sticking spouses in prison for snooping on e-mail accounts, we’re going to need a lot more courtrooms and jail cells.

Let’s poll this.  Would you snoop on a spouse’s e-mail, and under what circumstances?


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I’ll be the first one to be the sexist pig here. If the roles were reversed — the wife reading the husbands email — would this article even exist?

Tommy_G on December 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

I caught this story on FNC this am. They had some bottom of the barrel defense atty. who equated reading someone elses e-mail to breaking into someone’s home but not taking anything. The dunce said that it wasn’t burglary or a crime at all.

darwin-t on December 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

I don’t like the poll for two reason. First, one may choose to snoop for more then one choice in your poll. I should be able to select more than one option. The second is that I would not likely snoop until there were clear indicators of trust violations. I trust those closest to me implicitly and would probably have to be hit over the head with a baseball bat before I noticed something amiss.

NotCoach on December 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Spouses have no expectation of Privacy. I have my wife’s email account info, she has mine.

Complete openness.

(except for my secret email account she doesn’t know I have, and the secret facebook account she doesn’t think I know about, but I do.) //

portlandon on December 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Did this idiot wife ever hear of this unique and technologically innovative concept known as CHANGING YOUR DAMN PASSWORD?!!!!

pilamaye on December 28, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I would think that if the wife filed for divorce before the emails were read, that she had an expectation of privacy. If the emails were read before filing for divorce…she had no expectation of privacy because she had no controls on the account.

My wife routinely accesses my email account to get notification of bills being paid or due via internet. I don’t care, I have nothing to hide…in that account. I have several email accounts and I am the only one that can access them…creative passwords work splendidly.

belad on December 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Just get what you need from Wiki-leaks.
Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.

tomg51 on December 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

This is so strange for me. My wife and I have full and continuous access to each others’ email accounts — they are all attached to every email client I have set up.

Prufrock on December 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

If my wife has someone on the side I’d just hate to discover his honey-do list. The poor SOB.

Limerick on December 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

I’m not against snooping. But, if they had already split up, then yes, he broke the law. However, considering the circumstances, I would be more inclined to admonish and not prosecute.

Blake on December 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

F’n ridiculous. He should have at least slapped her for that kind of time. Maybe he still will.

abobo on December 28, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Either way… if your marriage is going well, nobody cares. If things are getting shaky, change your passwords and always look for running programs that watch and record Internet activity.

In this case, he should not have been snooping and indeed invaded her privacy.

Fish on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

But should the law apply to spouses at all? Michigan is not a community-property state, but at least in those states that assume half-interests in all property acquired or possessed during the marriage (states vary on the application), e-mail would appear to qualify as property, giving spouses an interest.

Uh, no.

Blake on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

But should the law apply to spouses at all?

and the two shall become one. If we own property ‘together’ then we use it together…homes/cars etc. If we together purchase internet service, then we together share the information over that and there is no expectation of privacy, just as there is no distinction between how much water comes out of the tap and for whom it comes. Now, if it was a “business” computer, for her job, for her company and he accessed it, then that is a problem. However, if they together purchase the computer, the service, the DSL, the cable, the electricity and so forth, then there is no distinction between what comes through the email, and what comes through the other pipes, IMO.

ted c on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I’d snoop on my wife’s email, but only with an enhanced pat-down and full body scan.

Nethicus on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Oh, I forgot….the DA in this case doesn’t have enough real criminals to prosecute?

Is this prosecutorial innovation or misconduct?

belad on December 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM

With all the choices for emails out there, wouldn’t the wife had been smart to utilize one of them? Say for example, she used yahoo….and use gmail for *ahem* her indiscretions, and hubby wouldn’t know about that account?

I’m not advocating, or condoning, or approving of what she did….but how dumb do you have to be?

Also…wouldn’t her hard drive be able to tell exactly when hubby accessed the account? Before, or after the marriage went belly up?

I don’t think the hubby deserves a prison sentence for this, but hacking, is hacking. Whether it’s the hubby or the wife, or anyone. It’s still hacking. But prison shouldn’t even come into play on this one. He’s lost is wife, and marriage. That’s punishment enough.

capejasmine on December 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

This means I should be in jail :-)

Slow news day.

antisocial on December 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I’ll be the first one to be the sexist pig here. If the roles were reversed — the wife reading the husbands email — would this article even exist?

Tommy_G on December 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

And I’ll raise you one Sarah Palin “Email Hacker”

Some 4chan nerd “compromises” (that’s the word I’m using) Sarah Palin’s email and gets one year and a day plus 3 years probation. Some dude in Michigan – a black dude for all those lovely liberals – is facing 5 years in the slammer for “snooping” in his (ex-)wife’s email?

Jeddite on December 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

My husband and I have personal accounts. If his is open, I might check it out. If mine is open, it’s fine if he checks mine out. While we don’t know each other’s passwords, it wouldn’t bother me if he saw what was in there.

I don’t think there are nor should be any hard/fast rules. Whatever a couple decides is their private decision and should be honored between them, obviously.

Bee on December 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Questions: Did husband buy the computer? Did husband pay the ISP bill for the internet access?

If the answer to both is “Yes”, then what is the difference between him and my employer, who legally has access to my email (even if I generate the email while working away from the office).

Can I have my boss jailed?

kurtzz3 on December 28, 2010 at 11:23 AM

[ted c on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM]

Thanks for saving me the time and effort.

Dusty on December 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

It would take some extraordinary circumstances for me to even think of looking at her email and by then it would probably be useless info anyway. I wonder who was paying the bill for Internet service and if that matters? Seems to me that person or persons would be like a company, they own my email and do whatever they want with it,

bluemarlin on December 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Old school here, my wife and I share one e-mail account, one checking account, one savings account, one credit card and one bedroom. I don’t understand couples that live seperate lives.

fourdeucer on December 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

If I thought my husband was having an affair I think I would check his email. He leaves his laptop right next to mine and his Outlook is always open(so is mine). Actually, I hope he doesn’t looks at mine because my niece, who needs help right now… Well I donated more money to her than he’d agreed to… Hmmmm She sent a lovely thank you email…

CCRWM on December 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Why does the wife have email anyways? She could be in the kitchen makin’ sammiches!

lorien1973 on December 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

What if he had read her diary? Death by hanging?

Michigan. No big surprise here.

Tim Zank on December 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Oh, another thing anyone that sends us e-mail with multiple names in the address bar gets sent to the “block senders list”.

fourdeucer on December 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

He should have just sent the fella an e-mail from her saying she found someone else with lotsa $ and big thumbs.

Limerick on December 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Been there and done that. Didn’t occur to me to check and snoop. I wish I had.

If this female (I won’t venture the term “lady”) had purchased her own computer, paid for her own service, etc., rather than using the jointly-owned service and hardware, maybe she has a point. With the logic applied to this guy, he would have been in trouble for looking in her sock drawer.

iurockhead on December 28, 2010 at 11:35 AM

He shoulda said it was “joe the plumber’s” email and everything would have been cool.

lorien1973 on December 28, 2010 at 11:39 AM

What if he had read her diary?

Tim Zank on December 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Well, I did know someone years back who was going through a divorce after 22 years of marriage. Her husband had left her for one of his students. One day, while going through the house, she found his journal, something I think a marriage counselor had suggested he keep. She only read the first sentence (paraphrased – For the past 22 years, I’ve enjoyed manipulating my wife into thinking I love her.) and immediately handed it to her lawyer.

If she could use his journal against him in the divorce, then I don’t see why it shouldn’t be able to work the other way around, and I don’t see that email is any more private than a journal.

I’ve checked my husband’s email since we were dating (spoiling a birthday surprise one year, because I thought he knew I checked it and knew to hide things like that). It was primarily out of boredom and because he didn’t mind it – until the birthday thing anyway. So long as he isn’t bothered by it, I don’t see it as a problem. I’m a little more protective of mine, but ultimately, it wouldn’t bother me. I don’t think he’d find anything that’s new to him, especially with Christmas over.

Esthier on December 28, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Husband and wife are a legal unity –pre-divorce, shouldn’t this be a case of “hacking” his OWN e-mail?

JPlunket on December 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM

The real stroy is not the prosecution, but the Prosecutor.

Jessica Cooper

This rogue, inept, vindictive, lawless, liberal Oakland County prosecutor is giving the entire State a bad name…again.

I’m a little disappointed in Ed for perpetuating her goal- fame and power- without doing just a little background for perspective.

This is NOT the law here in Michigan. Everyone agrees it is the stretching and twisting of the law, and it’s intent, and this selective prosecution and abuse of authority will fail.

Browndog on December 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Yeah, right, like no wife ever went through her husband’s laundry, bills, address/appointment book, etc. to check up on him.

Socratease on December 28, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I take two exceptions to the poll/issue:
1. I don’t think this is an issue of “snooping” being a crime, especially when intentions vary. Its more of an issue of “which is worse? Snooping the email of your lawful spouse, or committing adultery, something that automatically puts one spouse on the bad side of a divorce case.

2. The guys didn’t do anything that Google doesn’t already do anyway ;-)

bluelightbrigade on December 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Oh god, is my grammar bad… :(

*sorry*

bluelightbrigade on December 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM

My wife and I share emails. It really shouldn’t be a big deal. Who needs the mistrust planted by having one by yourself.

tomas on December 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM

I’m with fourdeucer. If you want your own life, don’t get married. My life’s an open book with the missus, God bless her. She literally saved my life two years ago this New Year’s Eve.

teacherman on December 28, 2010 at 11:56 AM

My husband and I know each other’s passwords. I don’t snoop and neither does he (I think), but having an open book means there’s no need to.

I take the opposite side of the argument in regards to the government, but when it comes to a spouse, if you have nothing to hide, then don’t.

RachDubya on December 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Some 4chan nerd “compromises” (that’s the word I’m using) Sarah Palin’s email and gets one year and a day plus 3 years probation. Some dude in Michigan – a black dude for all those lovely liberals – is facing 5 years in the slammer for “snooping” in his (ex-)wife’s email?

Jeddite on December 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

One is “facing up to” and the other is “gets”. Big difference.

elfman on December 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM

email is not property, it is communication. This has serious ramifications if the court decides his actions are illegal. It could put parents in the position of violating the law if they access their kid’s secure email and facebook accounts. It does not carry the same protections for the husband, as in the case of a business monitoring their email accounts, because bills are paid from the collection of their funds, and both have joint ownership. 1) she had an email account with a third party and he possibly violated that party’s security 2) does the spouse have an expectation of privacy on the family compute 3) did he violate personal privacy (creditors cannot talk to a spouse without permission)

jeffNWV on December 28, 2010 at 12:05 PM

I know my husband’s password but he doesn’t know mine. I won’t even go into his wallet so roaming around his email isn’t something I would do. Besides he forwards everything in the world to me anyway. Like it or not.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I discovered that my ex-husband was chating–again–when our cell phone bill had several hundred dollars in texts on it and the recurring number of the perosn whom he texted.

Foolish, naive, trusting me bought his story that it was the number of his colleague with whom he was arranging a conference. My mother, however, simply called the number to check his story, and heard the voice mail greeting of his former student.

When I went to his parents for support to save our marriage (yeah, I know, I’m old-fashioned about the “death do us part” business), his mother said to me, “Does he go through your bills?” as though I was in the wrong. I knew then exactly where I stood with his family.

We are now divorced (the settlement was very favorable to me). and I hasven’t spoken to any of those people in four years.

The prosecution is ridiculous.

goddessoftheclassroom on December 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

If things are getting shaky, change your passwords and always look for running programs that watch and record Internet activity.

Fish on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

What are the names of some of these programs and where are they typically stored on the computer? Anyone? Pls help a noob out. Thanks. (no, am not married :) )

inviolet on December 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

I hate having to constantly check my own email. It’d take something significant to get me reading hers.

jhffmn on December 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

So what if he’s facing prison time? How is that different from marriage?

Enrique on December 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

So what if he’s facing prison time? How is that different from marriage?

Enrique on December 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Does the thought of your wife being named ‘Bubba’ change that theory?

darwin-t on December 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

goddessoftheclassroom on December 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Congratulations on the favorable outcome to a sad situation. Any ethical issues for him and his employers about seeing a student?

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

ZOMG! You read your spouse’s email!!!11!! I read my husband’s and I know he’s the most honest person I’ve ever met. I am just nosey. I have always subscribed to the “If you don’t want others to know your business, don’t put it in pics or print.”

di butler on December 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Spouses start snooping when the other one starts acting sneaky.

Little Boomer on December 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Sorry,

But I watched a friend of mine go through a protracted divorce from a psychopath. (The forensic psychiatrist’s evaluation, not mine.)

Just because someone is dumb enough to say “I do” doesn’t remove all of their legal and moral protections.

If you and your spouse agree to share email accounts, cool. If you don’t, then assuming that theirs is yours is, to my simple mind, a real stretch.

Like all “voluntary” relationships, termination should always be an option.

CrazyGene on December 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

What are the names of some of these programs and where are they typically stored on the computer? Anyone? Pls help a noob out. Thanks. (no, am not married :) )

inviolet on December 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Never mind – found the right wording for the Bing/Google search. Thx.

inviolet on December 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

My wife and I share emails. It really shouldn’t be a big deal. Who needs the mistrust planted by having one by yourself.

tomas on December 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM

This might be a generational thing. I had an email account several years before I got married. I’ve seen no reason to get rid of it, and I don’t agree that it creates any mistrust between us any more than having my own cell phone does (though we used to share one of those for years).

Esthier on December 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

If you and your spouse agree to share email accounts, cool. If you don’t, then assuming that theirs is yours is, to my simple mind, a real stretch.

Like all “voluntary” relationships, termination should always be an option.

CrazyGene on December 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

So what’s your solution here? Unless the spouses have that agreement in writing (how else can it be proven?) 5 years in jail is acceptable punishment?

Esthier on December 28, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Adultery in Michigan Punishable by Life in Prison

A ruling by the second highest court in Michigan has indicated that state lawmakers have inadvertently made anyone who commits adultery guilty of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

I’m sure she will be prosecuted as well. /

Jeff2161 on December 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

If you run an email server, as I have done, you can read everyone’s email. So I just don’t.

One of my past employers archived all email and this was part of our group’s responsibilities. We encrypted everything before burning to CD. No-one ever asked for the archives or the encryption key while I was there so I presume that the archives were just ass-covering for the corporate lawyers.

gh on December 28, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Any ethical issues for him and his employers about seeing a student

Thank you for your kind words.

He claimed the affair wasn’t sonsumated until after the class ahd ended. The social and colleagic repercussions have been justice enough for me.

goddessoftheclassroom on December 28, 2010 at 12:54 PM

And the guy (Democrat) who hacked Palin’s email? 1 year and 1 day.
And the woman (Democrat) who looked at Joe the Plumber’s data, she retired, no financial loss.
And those (Democrats) in the Clinton Admin that inappropriately looked at hundreds of confidential FBI files? Nothing.

barnone on December 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Once again, a moron for South East Michigan makes me proud to be a Michiganian. It’s not like Detroit is the murder capitol of the country or Wayne and Oakland counties don’t have enough crime and corruption they could be prosecuting. Take Kwame Kilpatrick, John Boniers, the entire Detroit City council, Broad of Education…….. Let’s waste more taxpayer money on a case that should never made it paste the wastebasket of the DA.

flytier on December 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

One of my past employers archived all email … so I presume that the archives were just ass-covering for the corporate lawyers.

gh on December 28, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Part of Sarbanes Oxley and other financial regulations require the maintenance of correspondence for 3 or 5 years.

barnone on December 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

goddessoftheclassroom on December 28, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Good! Those old saying exist for a reason “What goes around, comes around!”.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

barnone on December 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

We were doing this in 1997/8. In Canada.

gh on December 28, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The ultimate spying.

barnone on December 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Hmmmm She sent a lovely thank you email…

CCRWM on December 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM

So, then it’s OK if he withholds information about the money he spends? It has to be if it’s OK for you to do that.

Extrafishy on December 28, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Once again, a moron for South East Michigan makes me proud to be a Michiganian.

flytier on December 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Down here in Indiana, we call you Michiganders. I don’t care to know what you call us.

Extrafishy on December 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

What’s the penalty a Democrat congressman gets for not paying their taxes?

JellyToast on December 28, 2010 at 1:33 PM

That two timing, back stabbing #itch! Of course I check her email. LOL

JimP on December 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

What happened to the part where “two become one”? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Using a law designed for some purpose other than the one at hand is stupid legal procedure.

GoldenEagle4444 on December 28, 2010 at 1:48 PM

If’n he’d a just OJ’d her and gotten a good attorney, “if the glove don’t fit you gots to acquit”, oh wait a sec what color was da wife?

maybe dat don’t work dat way if she was black.

dhunter on December 28, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Can a person check his spouse’s e-mail without running afoul of anti-hacker laws? Apparently not in Michigan, where Leon Walker faces five years in prison as a result of his snooping during an ugly end to his marriage.

Not unless you’re Muslim…..

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

This is so strange for me. My wife and I have full and continuous access to each others’ email accounts — they are all attached to every email client I have set up.

Prufrock on December 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Same here.

BobMbx on December 28, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Down here in Indiana, we call you Michiganders. I don’t care to know what you call us.

Extrafishy on December 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Mom calls them Michigoonies, and people from Baltimore… Baltimorons.

Laura in Maryland on December 28, 2010 at 2:05 PM

What’s the penalty a Democrat congressman gets for not paying their taxes?

JellyToast on December 28, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Don’t fall for this trick question!

Its not a crime for Dem Congressmen to not pay taxes!

BobMbx on December 28, 2010 at 2:05 PM

The real question: Would you post under your spouse’s “username” in a comment thread?

HDFOB on December 28, 2010 at 2:13 PM

The real question: Would you post under your spouse’s “username” in a comment thread?

HDFOB on December 28, 2010 at 2:13 PM

No, but my 1st grader jumped on my fb account and had some fun, and I had some ‘splaining to do.

Laura in Maryland on December 28, 2010 at 2:20 PM

I don’t check my husband’s email-nor he mine-but we know each others passwords. Since I trust him and he trusts me there’s no reason for us to go there.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Sending me your password to your email account is approval for me to read your email.

tommer74 on December 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM

A misandrist female prosecutor is abusing her discretion. Jessica Cooper would never file similar charges against a woman snooping on her husband.

rokemronnie on December 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Illustrates why Michigan is doing so well….. wasting time on crap like this. Stupid liberals and PC hacks. Michigan will sink before California. Didn’t they have negative population growth? People are running away from these morons.

ultracon on December 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM

I’ve accidentally opened up my wife’s gmail email because she forgot to uncheck the “remember me” box and let the browser save her password. Once I realized what it was I closed it.

I wouldn’t snoop.

Although letters aren’t in cyberspace, what if he opened up her mail. My wife opens up mine all of the time.

roux on December 28, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Down here in Indiana, we call you Michiganders. I don’t care to know what you call us.

We are Michiganders. Born and bred. Only transplants and libs use the made up word–you know, because the current word isn’t “progressive” enough.

The fact our soon to be former liberal socialist Canadian governor called herself a “Michiganian” should give everyone a clue.

Browndog on December 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM

I never thought I would check my husband’s email, but it may have saved my life. I will spare you the bizarre details, some of which you can read here. Unlike Leon Walker, I was not comfortable using the email information against my husband, even thought our pastoral team at church urged me to confront the other woman, a married co-worker, and report their relationship to their superiors. I tried to get him help, which he refused, and then I kicked him out.

Terrie on December 28, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Terrie on December 28, 2010 at 3:58 PM

That link was hard to read. I hope you are doing well now.

DarkCurrent on December 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM

We talked about this today and have full access to each others email if we choose to look. I’ve warned her that if she looks at some of the attachments from my retired Navy friends, she may have to scrub her eyes with a wire brush.

On a legal note, this shouldn’t even be a case. I’m assured it’s legal by my personal Nigerian Barrister, Mr. Mzumbe Okomi, who for some reason needs ANOTHER $1500 wired to him to expedite the probate on my long, lost Uncle’s will. Not sure why since I’ve already sent him my bank account information, SSN and Power of Attorney.

TugboatPhil on December 28, 2010 at 4:13 PM

DarkCurrent on December 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Thank you for your kind wishes. I have been living with stage IV cancer since 2006 and with cancer in my liver since 2008. There’s no cure yet, but chemotherapy is keeping me alive and there are some promising vaccines in the pipeline. I work full-time and function normally for the most part. I am clearly very blessed and use my experience as part of my testimony to God’s mercy.

Terrie on December 28, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I work full-time and function normally for the most part. I am clearly very blessed and use my experience as part of my testimony to God’s mercy.

Terrie on December 28, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I’m very glad to hear that!

DarkCurrent on December 28, 2010 at 4:29 PM

I’d snoop on my wife’s email, but only with an enhanced pat-down and full body scan.

Nethicus on December 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I asked her about that, and she said I should trim my fingernails a little more often, but that yours are always short.

*chortle*

44Magnum on December 28, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Rule No: 1. Never give your wife an email account – assuming she found out how to use one.

OldEnglish on December 28, 2010 at 5:34 PM

A wife becomes MRS. John Johnson.

So while they are married HE can open and read any mail addressed to her for they are in essence the same person. I imagine now days she can legally open and read his mail to.

esnap on December 28, 2010 at 5:49 PM

I check my husband’s out of boredom – but, he’s aware that I have the password (since he gave it to me) and thinks it’s funny that I read it when I’m bored.

He doesn’t have the password to mine but that’s not for lack of trying on my part. I’ve given it to him 3 times but he doesn’t want to save it on his computer (it’s not safe!) and he can’t ever remember it. In any case, I give it to him any time he asks so he effectively does have it.

As for this particular case, I wonder if it will hinge on whether or not the divorce had already gone through. The excerpt above says it was months after she filed for divorce; however, there’s a difference between “divorcing” and “divorced”. The main difference being that while you are “divorcing” you are still married.

JadeNYU on December 28, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Keep your nose out of other people’s email, whether you’re married to them or not.

If you think they are having an affair, then confront them with it. If you don’t believe their denials, then trust is gone and you need to move on. If you do, then maybe you were wrong and maybe you just saved your marriage by talking about the problem rather than sneaking around trying to dig up dirt.

Don’t give me the legal advantage excuse because the fruit of your poison hacking is inadmissible.

If your spouse gives you permission to look, I still ask why you’d want to, but at least it’s consensual and not a violation of their privacy. Also, you can assume a break-up, separation, or impending divorce is a clearly implied withdrawal of permission.

Immolate on December 28, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Texas has a concept called “sole management community property,” and although I haven’t checked, I strongly suspect that at least some other community property states do too. In situations in which a court is having to divide a community estate (typically because of a death or divorce has dissolved the community of interest between spouses), the court may treat some assets as being “community owned,” meaning subject to allocation as part of the division. But during the marriage and as between the spouses, sole management community property is often functionally indistinguishable from property owned outright outside of marriage. If the spouses agree among themselves to treat certain property as being jointly owned, that’s fine. But if they’ve been treating it as belonging to only one of them — and especially if the property was acquired or maintained primarily through the efforts or at the expense or in the name of just one of them — then, for example, a husband might not have broad community property rights to share access to a wife’s email account.

Beldar on December 28, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Happened to me… legal stuff aside, a cheater got caught and is really pissed about it, this is nothing more than shifting the blame. Regardless of marriage issues, that’s on her. If you’re unhappy, be a grown up and leave… total bull$#*!.

Chicost84 on December 29, 2010 at 12:49 AM

I would check my spouse’s email if and only if I thought there was something like child pornography in there or he asked me too. Now, actually checking is no big deal except….

The exception is a big one. I found out after my split with my ex that I was routinely being snooped on even in locked file cabinets I used for some unclassified aspects of my work. Fortunately I’d not brought home anything I should not have. But what I did bring home might have affected my company’s ability to compete were it revealed to competitors.

This left me feeling horribly violated. As a result I simply refuse to invade on my current spouse’s privacy. This general policy has worked wonderfully. I feel everybody needs SOME aspects of privacy in their lives however intimate their relationships may be. It even helps if stay away when you know what is in his private materials and he knows you know what is there. It’s a small but important sign of respect.

{^_^}

herself on December 29, 2010 at 1:51 AM

The poll doesn’t include the option I’d be choosing. My wife’s email is available to me anytime because she wants it that way, and I have no reason to “snoop” because she’s completely trustworthy. Since she still seems to think the same about me after only 27 years of marriage, it’s very much a moot point.

Freelancer on December 29, 2010 at 3:41 AM

Does this guy seem like he’s smart enough to be a hacker? How did he get her password? If she gave it to him, there goes the expectation of privacy. How is it there is any expectation of privacy on the internet anyway.

Kissmygrits on December 29, 2010 at 8:21 AM

This was a fun story for everyone. I warrant that nearly 80% of spouses have snooped.

AnninCA on December 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

An ex-husband installing a hacking device on his ex-wife’s computer that allows him to capture her personal data is a stalking nightmare. It is a clear invasion of privacy and should be prosecuted.

There’s a big difference between that and a happy couple who volunteer to share access to their email accounts.

Cara C on December 29, 2010 at 10:41 AM

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