Legality Reading Spouse’s Email

A husband is going to trial on Valentine’s Day, for going into his wife’s email account. As the electronic world evolves so does the concept of what is FRAUDULENT ACCESS TO COMPUTERS. Many states and Michigan in particular, are wrestling with how to interpret the law around marital privacy, especially when it comes to accessing a spouse’s email, social media, text or voice mail accounts without their permission.

Over the past several years many people have used these forms of correspondence as evidence in divorce cases. All of that may change this year due to the Leon and Clare Walker case. Clare is accusing her husband Leon of accessing her email account without her consent. Michigan prosecutors say he violated a state law that prohibits unauthorized computer access in order to acquire, alter, damage, delete or destroy property a law intended to punish identity thieves and protect trade secrets.

There is a lot of irony with this case as it goes trial on Valentine’s Day, including a public out cry that if this case becomes a precedent, then the law could be used to prosecute parents for reading their children’s e-mail.

Unfortunately, despite what will happen with this trial, the simple fact that a husband is being charged should make people exercise caution when accessing the email, texts, and Facebook accounts of their spouses without permission, whether or not they are going through a divorce.