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Is reading her emails Hacking? Options
Alias
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:18:56 AM

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In the US a man faces up to 5 years jail under anti-hacking laws for reading his cheating wifes emails. According to the story he is a computer tech who suspected his wife of cheating on him with her ex husband.

His defence is that he was protecting the interests of a child because the ex husband had previously been arrested for beating her in front of the child when they were still married. There are a lot of questions unanswerwed here but it is an interesting concept nonetheless...

Would anyone like to share their thoughts on this?

BTW she was cheating on him with the Ex husband!!! (I am sure I have seen this in an episode of LA Law (laughs)


http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/8570484/man-faces-jail-reading-wifes-email

I think its about time chickens are able to cross the road without constantly having their motives challenged!
kitten
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:51:01 AM

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I would have loved to have read/heard the voir dire questions she asked. Especially since this is going to the jury.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 5:31:00 AM

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It would depend on how he gained access to her email, if they shared a computer and she had her email account set for automatic login, then no it can not be considered hacking. If she had ever told him her password, again not hacking, ah, okay I see, he did use her password. How did he get it? I agree with the defense attorney the stated law is not applicable.
Divorce court should be interesting.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
srirr
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 5:37:49 AM

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I think logically it is hacking if he has entered her account without her permission or knowledge. If she willingly shared the password or account details, then it was not hacking.


We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
lenam
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 5:44:16 AM

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Epi, the guy seems to have used software (spy software) that can track all inputs from the keyboard and has found out her password.

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel
Babezy
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 7:49:54 AM

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I read that she kept her passwords in a notebook beside the computer.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. --Dorothy Parker
Chrystall
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:27:57 PM

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If he didn't do it with her permission, well, sorry but it's hacking!!!!
It's like stealing - you remove something from someone without their permission, it's theft!!!
Babezy, even if she had her passwords on a "post-it" stuck on her screen, they are only for her to use and everyone else has to respect that!!!!!!!!!
holgenius
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:46:52 PM

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In this case 'hacking' is not properly used since hacking means that the perpetrator tweak hardware or software to enter in someone's computer/laptop. The fact that her password is written on a notepad it might be classified as an invasion of privacy but not hacking.

Practice makes perfect, But nobody is perfect, so, Practice Practice Practice...
Babezy
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 1:14:37 PM

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Hi, Chrystall, I was just answering a question about how the husband got the passwords. I don't have an opinion on whether this counts as hacking or not.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. --Dorothy Parker
jcbarros
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:04:10 PM

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If I suspect my wife is cheating on me, I have the right to investigate it. Hacking, privacy invasion, or whatever...
redgriffin
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:13:59 PM

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If the couple had a join account and he used her ID and PW to log into her email account then it is hacking in a broad sense of the word but if he says that he believed that there was something illegal going on that she was using the account to do or if he paid for the account totally then he had a right to see what she was using his account for. If she kept her passwords in a notebook next to the computer then he had access to them because she had made no attempt to secure them , People don't do this if you write down your passwords in a notebook make sure it is with you at all times, then he has a reasonable idea that she will let him have access to he account. As for security software what type most people know if there is security software on the computer usually because you know because it tells you it's there Firewalls. and password tracking software or encrypting and tracking software which usually tells you it is starting up. All this would say that the wife was naive in thinking that she was pulling the wool over her husband's eyes.

Now if the husband had to get into her account by nefarious ways or he used a backdoor into her computer and accounts that she has a reasonable idea of security, it on her computer to which she has access to her "private accounts" then he hacked into her system and is guilty. This case bears looking into and being followed.
Babezy
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 5:31:48 PM

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I think it's going to come down to what the statute says exactly and whether it's interpreted broadly or narrowly. The problem is that there's so much emotion around the circumstances that people may be judging based on feelings rather than the strict letter of the law.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. --Dorothy Parker
TYSON
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:19:30 PM

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jcbarros wrote:
If I suspect my wife is cheating on me, I have the right to investigate it. Hacking, privacy invasion, or whatever...


If invasion of privacy is a concern of yours, it would be best not to discuss these issues on the forum. Silenced

I think therefore I think I am
HWNN1961
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:26:39 PM

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I'm a bit uncomfortable:

1. If you are married, why keep secrets? The account was casual enough that she left the password right next to the computer, on a shared computer.

2. When I think of a "hacker" I think of a stranger, a thief, breaking into someone's computer for the rush, to steal information for identity theft. This doesn't rise to that standard.

3. In the end, I'm torn between the right of someone to have private thoughts and correspondence, and the right of a husband or a wife to know they are being betrayed.

Really, you are married. Your spouse should respect your privacy, but, courts take infidelity into consideration when judging divorce. Aren't two people, once wed, considered to be one, a union of souls?

"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong". (Knight's Oath, Kingdom of Heaven)
bturpin
Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:48:17 PM
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I agree HWNN and the law also sees your stuff as equally yours. Yes your spouse can destroy everything in the house and there's nothing you can do about it, it's theirs to break.

It's amazing what people will do when they feel they are entitled.
Phillip B
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:18:04 AM

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Laws in America seem to be a bit off balance. If someone can get put in jail for 5 years as a result of surreptitiously reading a spouse's email, then I would think that 10 years of jail time sounds about right for having sexual intercourse with someone other than a lawful spouse. I don't really think that way, it's just a way to shed light on how overly harsh some punishments are for certain crimes in comparison to more serious crimes that have lighter penalties.
If I were the judge in this case, I would be hardpressed not to reward the man for his fantastic detective work which resulted in the ousting of his whorish wife and keeping his daughter safe by saving her from the hands of a dangerous man!
Apple Blossom
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 12:43:07 PM

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I have to agree with HWNN1961. Trust is essential in a marriage. In my thinking, the wife violated that trust when she had an affair. I especially believe a parent has the right to investigate any suspicion that their child(ren)'s well-being may be at risk.

There is software parents can use to track the Internet usage of their children. I don't know if it can give parents access to email, or if this is what the husband used. I'm wondering if there is a way someone with advanced computer knowledge or high-tech software can retrieve deleted emails?

Babezy read somewhere that the wife kept a notebook with her passwords next to the computer. If this is so, and the wife didn't make any effort to permanently delete her corresponce with her ex (assuming emails cannot be retrieved after deleting), it seems she was being awfully indiscreet about her infidelity. I think it is only an issue for her now because her infidelity and the violent history of her ex seriously jeopardize her chances of gaining custody of the child.
RuthP
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 12:49:59 PM

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Whoa down, no one has been convicted yet, let alone sentenced. The sentence for hacking e-mail is up to 5 years. This in no way says what the actual sentence would be, unless we are under one of those rigid, ridiculous laws where the sentencing judge has no discretion.

Several points:
1) The one above: conviction and sentencing yet to come.
2) The one above: if convicted, term of sentence yet to come.
3) E-mail is a private communication and individuals who are married are still entitled to privacy.
4) Opening a spouse's (snail) mail (without permission; this all assumes no permission) is a federal crime.
5) The "united in marriage, we are one" concept had, originally, to do with the "we are one so I speak for us" rights of the husband. This has fallen by the wayside since women's lib.
6) Property laws are a state issue and vary from state to state.
7) Willful destruction of property could be taken in to account in any divorce settlement
8) Property destruction may be considered harassment or even abuse and a restraining order may be obtained

Edit: One more in light of several 'she wasn't nice, so she deserves it' type comments:
Two wrongs do not make a right.

My view: Cheating on a marriage is wrong. If you want out, if you need a change say something. Spying on your spouse and invading privacy is wrong. If you want to know, ask; if you don't trust, tell them so and tell them you are hiring a detective.
abcxyz
Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010 9:56:49 AM

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RuthP wrote:

My view: Cheating on a marriage is wrong. If you want out, if you need a change say something. Spying on your spouse and invading privacy is wrong. If you want to know, ask; if you don't trust, tell them so and tell them you are hiring a detective.


How do we know that he didn't tell her that he didn't trust her? And how would the detective work without invading the wife's privacy?

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
Apple Blossom
Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010 11:24:42 AM

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I understand Ruth's point in that, although we all agree that what the wife did was wrong, legalistically hacking and invasion of privacy are wrong. But, I agree that hacking simply doesn't apply in this case unless the husband accessed his wife's emails remotely, and even a charge of invasion of privacy would be difficult to prove if the wife hadn't taken precautions to secure her account. Also, in the husband's defense is his claim that he was concerned about the safety of their son in light of the wife's ex's violent history. If the man suspected his wife of involvement in child pornography and discovered pornopgraphic pictures of their son on his wife's computer, or in her personal files if they share a computer, I think the law (and I could be wrong here) would exempt the husband from prosecution. I'm only saying that I believe the wife's attorney has a very weak case against her husband but, as in any divorce case, both parties are apt to take every opportunity to villify the other party and justify themselves.
abcxyz
Posted: Sunday, January 02, 2011 8:07:03 AM

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I still don't understand Ruth's point. It's not at all about 'she wasn't nice, so she deserves it'. The husband had to be sure somehow or find concrete evidence that could be shown in the court that his wife was cheating on him. So he chose to do it in a way in which nobody got hurt(both emotionally and physically). Had he declared to his wife that he would check her emails she might have deleted the cheating mails or changed the password.

I agree that there are people who are always suspicious of their spouse without any reason at all but in this case we can clearly see that the guy had reason to suspect his wife as the emails confirms his suspicion. So he's not really the spying stalking husband the wife is trying to make him look like. In addition, the future of a child is at stake here.

I've visited other links on this story and none of them says that this guy was abusive to his wife physically or emotionally. So I'm still to find justification for the wife's cheating.

Forget 'legalistically'. Law is only a written attempt to define universal conscience, and it is still far from successful, and only partly due to people not agreeing on what should be the universal conscience. Speaking for India, our constitution still needs a lot of change and amendments and new additions and I don't think it's much different in the US. 'Good' lawyers twist the intended meaning of laws in favour of obviously bad people (as is happening in India right now in the high profile Ratan Tata's invasion of privacy (to engage in corruption) case). In this case also the wife's attorney is trying to make it about how the emails were accessed instead of what the emails revealed. In my opinion, any invasion of privacy, if it reveals wrongdoing, should not be considered an offence. So unless you're speculating on whether the guy would be punished by law, 'legalistically' does not enter the discussion.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
RuthP
Posted: Monday, January 03, 2011 2:31:49 PM

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Sorry, I've been gone, so I didn't answer you earlier
abcxyz wrote:
I still don't understand Ruth's point. It's not at all about 'she wasn't nice, so she deserves it'. The husband had to be sure somehow or find concrete evidence that could be shown in the court that his wife was cheating on him. ("Because he needs to" is not an excuse for breaking the law.)

So he chose to do it in a way in which nobody got hurt(both emotionally and physically). (It does not look benign or painless from the wife's point of view.)

Had he declared to his wife that he would check her emails she might have deleted the cheating mails or changed the password. (This is 'the ends justify the means' (Machiavelli, anyone?) argument: Because he needs to, therefore it is OK that he breaks the law: Not acceptable.)

(By the way: erased e-mail might be recovered from her server's system, available by subpoena. Unless she goes to more lengths to clear the e-mail than she likely knows how, a recovery program could probably recover it from her computer even after erasure. Had he consulted a lawyer about divorce - the appropriate and legal step to take - it is quite possible the computer might have been taken for disclosure of the e-mails of both.)


I assume it is OK for the wife to look at all his e-mail, as she "needs to" know what he may have been up to.

Laws don't work if we say they don't apply when the (presumed) "good guys" need to break them. The point of "equality under the law" is that it applies to everyone.


I agree that there are people who are always suspicious of their spouse without any reason at all but in this case we can clearly see that the guy had reason to suspect his wife as the emails confirms his suspicion. So he's not really the spying stalking husband the wife is trying to make him look like. (Because . . . he says so? His wife having an affair does not prove he is not stalking; these are separate issues.)

In addition, the future of a child is at stake here. (What if it turns out he has been verbally or physically abusing his wife and child this entire time? Was he still justified? What if this turns out to be not a lover, but an escape route? None of this has been in court; nothing has been proven one way or another.)

I've visited other links on this story and none of them says that this guy was abusive to his wife physically or emotionally. (The case, however, has not yet been in court. News reports are not evidence. You are trying her (and him) in the court of public opinion, which is long on opinion and short on evidence.)

So I'm still to find justification for the wife's cheating. (Easy: I do not believe there is justification for cheating. Nor, do I believe there is justification for illegally opening another's mail. We have a saying: Two wrongs do not make a right.)

Forget 'legalistically'. (If I "Forget 'legalistically' " what is left? The whole point is: We are a country of laws, not personalities. If we forget that, then we might as well forget the court system altogether. We'll just string her up on the nearest tree.)

Law is only a written attempt to define universal conscience, and it is still far from successful, and only partly due to people not agreeing on what should be the universal conscience. (Not all agree on where we draw the line on various moral issues. But, we are far from determining a universal moral system; we are setting a contract for participation in a society. If one accepts the benefits of participation in a society, then one accepts the rules of the society.)

That said: there are reasons for breaking the law (rules). I participated in civil disobedience in civil rights and anti-war demonstrations. I did this mindfully, knowing I was breaking the law and prepared to accept the consequences. (Gandhi did so to far greater effect, and accepted the consequences.) If our gentleman has a similar stand, good for him, but he cannot say "I'm the good guy, so the law does not apply to me."


Speaking for India, our constitution still needs a lot of change and amendments and new additions and I don't think it's much different in the US. (I am sorry you see your country as having such trouble. The U.S. system is not perfect, but it is very good and this gentleman is in the U.S. system. Under our system, he would be presumed innocent until tried in court. He seems to have chosen to say "I am guilty, but it shouldn't count." One suggests he should have had the smarts to consult a lawyer as soon as he was arrested- or, as I suggested, he should have consulted before he broke the law. Now he has confessed, though a good lawyer might be able to get it rescinded, or thrown out. A system of laws is better than vigilantism; a system of laws does not work when it is not used.)

'Good' lawyers twist the intended meaning of laws in favour of obviously bad people (Who is "obviously bad" and how do you know so? You seem so far to be relying on news reports; these are not evidence.) (as is happening in India right now in the high profile Ratan Tata's invasion of privacy (to engage in corruption) case).

In this case also the wife's attorney is trying to make it about how the emails were accessed instead of what the emails revealed. (People tend to forget that the judicial systems in the U.S., Britain, and India are adversarial systems. Such a system requires the attorney for a given side to be partisan and fight for that side. The issue of the e-mail violation is a second, separate issue; each must be dealt with. Parties could agree to arbitration, a negotiated trip toward a mutually agreed upon decision, but a court case is a fight, with a winner and a loser.)

In my opinion, any invasion of privacy, if it reveals wrongdoing, should not be considered an offence. (One may believe that. One may work to have the law changed. One may not pretend that it is how the law works now.)

So unless you're speculating on whether the guy would be punished by law, 'legalistically' does not enter the discussion. Again: The whole point is: We are a country of laws, not personalities.
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 5:23:48 AM

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Because he needs to, therefore it is OK that he breaks the law: Not acceptable.

OK, so what was the 'legal' way in which he could have found out that his wife was cheating on him? A hired detective wouldn't have cared much for the wife's privacy.

I assume it is OK for the wife to look at all his e-mail, as she "needs to" know what he may have been up to.

If she had good reason to suspect her husband of adultery or any crime, IMO it would have been perfectly OK.

Laws don't work if we say they don't apply when the (presumed) "good guys" need to break them. The point of "equality under the law" is that it applies to everyone.

I'm not encouraging illegal behaviour. But every action should be viewed in its context, that's why we have judges(or in this case jurors) in the court.

What if it turns out he has been verbally or physically abusing his wife and child this entire time? Was he still justified? What if this turns out to be not a lover, but an escape route? None of this has been in court; nothing has been proven one way or another.

That should turn the case completely against him. But from your post it seemed you don't care whether he was abusive or not. You said: Two wrongs do not make a right.

My view: Cheating on a marriage is wrong. If you want out, if you need a change say something. Spying on your spouse and invading privacy is wrong. If you want to know, ask; if you don't trust, tell them so and tell them you are hiring a detective.


So you're not looking at the context anyway. If I interpret this correctly in your opinion he did wrong since he invaded privacy. IMO in certain cases invasion of privacy can be justified.

"In my opinion, any invasion of privacy, if it reveals wrongdoing, should not be considered an offence." - One may believe that. One may work to have the law changed. One may not pretend that it is how the law works now.

I don't know about the American law, but Indian law allows for leniency considering the context. The sentence for a case like this in India would depend on the judge. But since you called the gentleman's action 'wrong', not 'illegal', I think it was natural to assume that the comment was made according to your sense of right and wrong and not what the law says.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 5:40:12 AM

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A system of laws is better than vigilantism; a system of laws does not work when it is not used.

I was not advocating vigilantism. I was saying that context should be considered.

'Good' lawyers twist the intended meaning of laws in favour of obviously bad people (Who is "obviously bad" and how do you know so? You seem so far to be relying on news reports; these are not evidence.) (as is happening in India right now in the high profile Ratan Tata's invasion of privacy (to engage in corruption) case).

In the case I've cited the tapped conversation of a business tycoon and his lobbyist was out on the public domain. The tapping was done by the IT department of India with sanction from higher authority, but the leaking was not authorized. The tapped content reveals lobbying in the government, backdrop of the 2G scam (of 2 trillion rupees), bribery, media manipulation etc. I've listened to many of the audio tapes and that's how I know.
The involved people have admitted that the voices were theirs and the businessman has moved to court saying that his privacy has been violated because his private conversations (which contains information about the crimes I mentioned) has been leaked to the public. Strangely, mainstream media have gone all out to support him.
If this guy isn't 'obviously bad', I don't know who is.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 2:07:26 PM

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Hi again abc,
abcxyz wrote:
Because he needs to, therefore it is OK that he breaks the law: Not acceptable.

OK, so what was the 'legal' way in which he could have found out that his wife was cheating on him? A hired detective wouldn't have cared much for the wife's privacy. (It is tempting to forgo the legal system, but: I would strongly suggest his first stop should have been a lawyer, to discuss possibilities and consequences of actions. A lawyer could have told him he'd be in trouble. If this is to be a contested divorce, a court hold could be put on disposal of communications (like e-mail) hers and his and a decision would be made about using these.)

I assume it is OK for the wife to look at all his e-mail, as she "needs to" know what he may have been up to.

If she had good reason to suspect her husband of adultery or any crime, IMO it would have been perfectly OK. (You miss my point: Who decides what is a "good" reason? The law says an individual has a right to privacy. Legally, one must ask through a court for permission to see another's private records. If you are going to give an individual the right to decide this is important, then you have thrown out the community standards for decision. Each individual gets to decide if it is "necessary" to invade another's privacy. You don't have the right to decide it is OK for him to look, but not her: a court does (acting on behalf of society); government (the representative of the people) does (by passing laws, through which the court acts), but if you take that function away from the court, then you are left with each individual making that decision.)

Laws don't work if we say they don't apply when the (presumed) "good guys" need to break them. The point of "equality under the law" is that it applies to everyone.

I'm not encouraging illegal behaviour. But every action should be viewed in its context, that's why we have judges(or in this case jurors) in the court. (Actually, yes, you are. You are saying it is all right for him to act contrary to the written law of the land and count on an act of jury nullification to acquit him despite the fact he has broken the law. I truly doubt the jury will unanimously decide to acquit him if it is proven he broke the law, because even if they sympathize with him, they also wish to protect their own privacy, which the extant law does.)

What if it turns out he has been verbally or physically abusing his wife and child this entire time? Was he still justified? What if this turns out to be not a lover, but an escape route? None of this has been in court; nothing has been proven one way or another.

That should turn the case completely against him. But from your post it seemed you don't care whether he was abusive or not. You said: Two wrongs do not make a right. (Please do not confuse an insistence on legality with not caring; those are two different issues. If he were abusive, I would care very much, and note abuse is a crime. Adultery, about which I also care, is considered differently from one state to the next: some states do not consider it a crime; some have a fine; some consider it a felony. You are correct that if the wife were being abused, I would not consider that justification for an affair. It would be justification for: a restraining order, a divorce, fleeing to a shelter, criminal charges.)

My view: Cheating on a marriage is wrong. If you want out, if you need a change say something. Spying on your spouse and invading privacy is wrong. If you want to know, ask; if you don't trust, tell them so and tell them you are hiring a detective.


So you're not looking at the context anyway. If I interpret this correctly in your opinion he did wrong since he invaded privacy. IMO in certain cases invasion of privacy can be justified. (And yet, our Constitution says (emphases are mine)
Quote:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Of course, this invasion of privacy was a private act, not a governmental one and a divorce proceeding is a civil, not a criminal case. The Constitution, however, indicates we do hold privacy important and subsequent legislation, like the law regarding e-mail privacy, sets our current understanding of limits. I can but reword what I wrote below: You may believe context should count. You may work to have the law changed. You may not pretend that is how the law works now.)


"In my opinion, any invasion of privacy, if it reveals wrongdoing, should not be considered an offence." - One may believe that. One may work to have the law changed. One may not pretend that it is how the law works now.

I don't know about the American law, but Indian law allows for leniency considering the context. The sentence for a case like this in India would depend on the judge. But since you called the gentleman's action 'wrong', not 'illegal', I think it was natural to assume that the comment was made according to your sense of right and wrong and not what the law says. (American law used to allow for context: a man who killed his wife "in the heat of passion" - say because he stumbled upon her in their bed with another man - could be acquitted. (Oddly enough, the same argument seldom worked for women.) A driver who caused an accident while drunk could be acquitted, because he wasn't under control at the time. We discovered this did not work well. There are limited circumstance, e.g. the use of deadly force under reasonable fear of one's life. But, the exact meaning of these context-based decisions will be hotly argued in each case. They make very uncomfortable exceptions.)

A system of laws is better than vigilantism; a system of laws does not work when it is not used.

I was not advocating vigilantism. I was saying that context should be considered. (So, I interpret "context should be considered" to mean that since you believe he was an injured party, or because he says he is an injured party, it is OK for him to break the law. Is that correct?)

'Good' lawyers twist the intended meaning of laws in favour of obviously bad people (Who is "obviously bad" and how do you know so? You seem so far to be relying on news reports; these are not evidence. I reiterate: Who is "obviously bad" and how do you know? And, what do you mean by "twist the law"? As I said in my full response, before: a lawyer is an advocate in a fight, not a party to a negotiation. It is the legal responsibility of the lawyer to argue the client's case by all legal means. It is not OK for the lawyer to violate the law, but everything short of that is a duty. Lawyers are not bad for representing disliked clients. Clients may be disliked and suspected for many reasons, including those which have nothing to do with the case at hand.) (as is happening in India right now in the high profile Ratan Tata's invasion of privacy (to engage in corruption) case).

In the case I've cited the tapped conversation of a business tycoon and his lobbyist was out on the public domain. The tapping was done by the IT department of India with sanction from higher authority, but the leaking was not authorized. The tapped content reveals lobbying in the government, backdrop of the 2G scam (of 2 trillion rupees), bribery, media manipulation etc. I've listened to many of the audio tapes and that's how I know.
The involved people have admitted that the voices were theirs and the businessman has moved to court saying that his privacy has been violated because his private conversations (which contains information about the crimes I mentioned) has been leaked to the public. Strangely, mainstream media have gone all out to support him.
If this guy isn't 'obviously bad', I don't know who is. (I cannot really comment on this as I certainly know only the highlights. I believe, from other news reports and from some of what you have said that India may have a somewhat larger problem with corruption in the court system than the U.S. has. (No system will be completely free always: the frailty of humanity.) I suggest, however, that the path to equality and honesty does not come from trying to balance one illegality with another or one corruption with another, however tempting it may be (and it is, because it can seem that is the only way to be "fair").

The path to a strong judicial system is the equal application of the law to all and an openness of records. The law is a system for trying to make the best possible decision on incomplete information (at least until we get spy-cameras in all rooms of every house). We, in the U.S., accept that even nasty, unpleasant people must have their rights protected. We accept that we will lose the case against some who may be guilty and we prefer that to convicting by mistake one who is innocent. It is not an easy system. It is not quiet; to some degree it is not safe; we argue a lot about where the lines are drawn/what the law should be. It is, however, the best system yet devised.)
Alias
Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011 11:24:02 PM

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Wonderful, lucid, insightful,well informed arguments Ruth. I always enjoy your posts for their clarity and intelligence.
However I feel compelled to take you to task over some what you so elonquently wrote.

Ruth P wrote: -
The path to a strong judicial system is the equal application of the law to all and an openness of records. The law is a system for trying to make the best possible decision on incomplete information (at least until we get spy-cameras in all rooms of every house). We, in the U.S., accept that even nasty, unpleasant people must have their rights protected. We accept that we will lose the case against some who may be guilty and we prefer that to convicting by mistake one who is innocent. It is not an easy system. It is not quiet; to some degree it is not safe; we argue a lot about where the lines are drawn/what the law should be. It is, however, the best system yet devised.).

a;we will lose the case against some who may be guilty and we prefer that to convicting by mistake one who is innocent
b;It is, however, the best system yet devised

Oh if only Ruth.!! I would argue that what you proposed is the ideal. Just as with the constitution which you reference so widely this is how it perhaps should be. The facts are it isnt.
The American constitution was written while men, women and children in the USA remained as bonded slaves with no legal rights, treated at times worse than feral animals..

For decades the constitution remained in place and slavery continued.

OR on an individual level:

A poor soul from a bad neighbourhood may be charged with a crime that he cant afford to defend. He engages an overworked harrassed public defender who is up against a well heeled and erudite prosecutor who effectively manipulates the inherent prejudices of the jury...He/she is convicted....the offender roams free.

OR
The famous case of Hattie Carrol as recounted in the BobDylan song of the same name. She was murdered in cold blood. beaten to death with a cane for some perceived misdemeanour while working for 40 years as a servant to the well - heeled young Man William Zantsinger the son of her employer. After a "trial" where Zatsinger showed no remorse he was convicted and sentenced to 6 mths in prison..He served it with all priveleges...(his father was close fiends with both the judge and the Governor) He returned to his life, they hired another servant and justice was served US style.

The massive over representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the courts and jails in the US.

OR the absurd spectacle of the OJ Simpson trial,

OR Presidentail pardons...patently misused...Ford pardons Nixon...Clinton pardons his buddy....

OR Government abuse and manipulation of the law.
a:Kidnaping a head of state of a foreign country and trying him under US law for crimes he supposedly committed while in Panama...ignoring once again International law.

b:Then there is selling guns to Iran (in violation of International law, its own Congress etc etc....where it scapegoats one of the guilty minions (Lt North) while his superiors never even face questioning.

c: Then there is Guantanamo Bay where in defiance of every law including the Geneva convention, Internationl and Un conventions and US law the US supports illegal transfer of persons from other countries ..invents a new term "enmey combatants" to flaunt the law and then commits torture, brutality, and violent and coercive interrogation in a concentration camp off shore on persons who have neither been charged nor have any redress to legal or emotional suport form lawyers, social workers or their friends and families for years on end.
Never mind Abu Gharaib and the rest.


OR
and this is the clincher for me. The prolific use of the death penalty in many US states especially Texas. It is so clear that many have been put to death who were either innocent or there were factors that mitigated their guilt that were either blocked or misused during the arrest or judicial process. Some were executed on the eve of a Governors election to promote the "law and order" tough on crime bona fides of the incumbent.

Recent DNA evidence exonerating prisoners who have spent decades in prison has shone a harsh light on how unjust the death penalty is and how its finality flies in the face of any humane, just system of law.

Power and influence, money and connections still protect the powerful and dscriminate against the vulnerable and poor.

OR
Then there is the litigation feeding fenzy that occurs in US courts where every body sues everyone else for absurd reasons...or monetary gain...

While I have no illusions about Australias judicial system and its shortcomings (it too has a ridiculous over representation of Aboriginal Australians throughout every stage of the legal system. But it does not have the death penalty.

Some of the legal codes in Europe are marginally better than the US over all, especially where thye dont have a death penalty, ...

I am not disagreeing with the ideals of both the US constitution and the US legal system. I am just aware of the gross anomalies that occur between what is stated and what is done.

Thank you once more for your stimulating responses Ruth I know you are an intelligent woman and this is not a personal attack on you or any US citizens, a great many of whom share my concerns. I just felt that your post stimulated me to examine this issue more closely. Perhaps I should have started a new thread, I am not sure. Angel







I think its about time chickens are able to cross the road without constantly having their motives challenged!
memphis jailer
Posted: Sunday, January 09, 2011 9:42:42 PM

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ruthp you said-
Quote:
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

i don't believe that reading your spouses email is hacking when you have access to the password or have been given it verbally (point one) and (point two) the right of the husband is protected here in what you quoted in amendment 6 .... he has a right to be secure in his house .... i read in the posts earlier that the cheating spouse was hit by the older ex boyfriend-new lover even in front of the child .... only if she did not give him access to the password or he not feel threatened in his own house would i say that would be illegal ..... if you leave your keys laying around the house unsecured and someone that lives there picks them up and takes off in the car or truck, it is not considered theft if they have been given permission to drive the vehicle in the past

your signature is silly!
kitten
Posted: Sunday, January 09, 2011 10:42:42 PM

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What if these two met by having an affair and she cheated on the first husband with him?

People who enter into permanent relationships by first having affairs with each other, set each other up for distrust. What if she told him her ex used to abuse her but he really didn't? It has happened before.

Suppose she made a mistake? People's feelings change. It has happened before.

I don't know. Think I think there is more to the story than what we've been told.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
memphis jailer
Posted: Sunday, January 09, 2011 10:52:40 PM

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yea still .... my theory is the guy didn't violate by reading emails ..... now if the guy was doing the cheating alot of people would look at this situation different because guys are supposedly pigs .... we don't know the whole situation other than she WAS cheating and he found out by reading a few emails .... did she try and have him arrested? probably not .... i'm sure she only wanted to press the issue when it came time for the divorce .... try and make it inadmissable to get a larger sum or custody and child support .... if you are caught cheating screw half you get squat! .... just my opinion

your signature is silly!
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 4:21:07 AM

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Thank you Alias for this post. I was somewhat taken aback by the difference in opinion about the US legal system between Ruth and almost all black Americans I've interacted with. Almost all of them say they experienced police brutality/harassment, and have stories of cops who went scot-free after they chased and "accidentally" killed innocent people.

So, I interpret "context should be considered" to mean that since you believe he was an injured party, or because he says he is an injured party, it is OK for him to break the law. Is that correct?

Wrong interpretation. We are not talking about someone who shot people(and it would be national news here if a person was let free after committing murder). Whether he is the injured party or not can only be established after a proper investigation. If we assume what the media says as true then he learnt that he was an injured party after he broke the law. It's a very minor thing and should be treated as such. If we stop looking at the context and intent and start giving everyone who read others' emails equal punishment it would be ridiculous(at least here in India).

Yes, we don't know all about this case. But based on what we know, the highest punishment for this guy should be a light fine.

And I'll also touch upon what memphis jailor said. If Hollywood movies reflect the slightest of reality, in the US you go to court for a divorce without concrete evidence against your spouse and you're broke.

The path to a strong judicial system is the equal application of the law to all and an openness of records. The law is a system for trying to make the best possible decision on incomplete information (at least until we get spy-cameras in all rooms of every house). We, in the U.S., accept that even nasty, unpleasant people must have their rights protected. We accept that we will lose the case against some who may be guilty and we prefer that to convicting by mistake one who is innocent. It is not an easy system. It is not quiet; to some degree it is not safe; we argue a lot about where the lines are drawn/what the law should be. It is, however, the best system yet devised.)

Often law (even in the US) is not equally applied to everyone. For example, consider the difference in treatment between a pickpocket or street thug and a person involved in a huge corporate scam. Who's a bigger thief? If what I heard is true, in the US a black person with drugs is about 50 times more likely to end up in prison for drug possession than a white person even if everything else in the two cases is identical. Police have the legal right to arrest people with drugs but they choose to exercise that right selectively. Equal application of law as I interpret it is equal treatment of everyone for identical actions under identical intent and circumstances. That is why we have a law to protect those who commit murder in self-defence. Often it so happens that those nasty unpleasant people have so much power that it is impossible to prosecute them sticking to complete legal procedure. I don't mind if some laws were broken so that nobody got harmed but the truth about these people came into light(only if they're guilty), because often if the guilty doesn't get punished, innocents suffer.

Finally, I agree to disagree.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
Tovarish
Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 5:45:25 AM

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I wouldnt like either of them around my home.

She's a cheater & he's a snoop.
Alias
Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:20:28 AM

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How delightfully succint Tov!

I think its about time chickens are able to cross the road without constantly having their motives challenged!
memphis jailer
Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 5:17:34 PM

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well i'd let her around the house .... minus boyfriend lol

your signature is silly!
Irma Crespo
Posted: Sunday, July 12, 2015 3:43:12 AM

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Reading anyone´s mail, without permission from the party concerned, is illegal, thus is hacking.
pedro
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2015 8:19:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/21/2009
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Irma Crespo wrote:
Reading anyone´s mail, without permission from the party concerned, is illegal, thus is hacking.



Well he would have done pretty much 2 and a half years by now (see date of last post!) so would be eligible for release in the UK!

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
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