A Michigan man is facing time in the slammer for snooping around in his wife’s business. More specifically, he’s being prosecuted for “felony computer misuse” — legal action designed to target identity thieves and trade secret stealers. Suspecting (correctly) that his wife was having an affair, 33-year old Leon Walker used her password to sneak into her Gmail account and scrounge up some damning evidence. He claims his email hacking activity was his responsibility as a dad to get to the bottom of his hunch; the law says he violated her privacy.
Is Email Hacking Your Spouse A Crime?
What do you think? Is that taking it too far? Should he, as a husband, be allowed to peek? In Walker’s defense, the man on the side was Mrs. Walker’s ex-husband, who had previously been arrested for assault in front of their child. Leon’s seeking custody to protect his step-daughter.
Regardless of how this shakes out, it’s a clear warning to nosy significant others. Ditch the predictable e-mail bust and opt for spying Inspector Gadget style with a fancy watch-cam or poking around with James Bond movie-quality gizmos. They may not save an imploding relationship, but at least you’ll look cool trying.
Caroline Walker is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. She has worked in both the entertainment and the nonprofit sector. Walker holds a BA from the University of Southern California and an MA from New York University’s Gallatin School.