Articles Tagged with email

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With the ubiquitous use of smartphones, tablets, and other devices, the ability for the average person to secretly record conversations, take video, read text messages, and emails of other persons is widespread. The desire to take advantage of such technology is especially tempting when one believes he/she may obtain evidence that will give advantage in a divorce or a contested custody fight. However, Pennsylvania, has one of the most restrictive Wiretap and Electronic Surveillance* laws in the nation, and engaging in such activity can have wide ranging consequences.

The underlying question that comes up such situations is whether the activity infringes upon a right of a privacy. The test is two pronged: Whether the person whose communication sought to be used has (or had ) a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place or thing searched, and whether that expectation of privacy is one that society recognizes as reasonable.

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In this age of e-mail, social media and electronic communications, people leave behind an inviting trail of information that a curious, jealous or controlling spouse or boy/girlfriend may be tempted to view. If someone suspects his/her spouse of cheating he/she may want to search through emails or text messages for evidence of another romantic or sexual partner. Suspicious spouses even have been known to put software “snooping” devices on a partner’s computer to track communications.

Is it legal to read your husband’wife’s email? Interceptions of electronic communications can violate a number of federal and state laws. Reading another person’s email or texts ( even your spouse’s) without their consent is a violation of privacy. But the answer to whether this always is illegal is it depends.

Whether reading emails or other communications is legal or not may depend upon a number of factors, including: whether the email is sitting on a server or is downloaded; the type of device the communication is on; whether the device is personal or shared with others; whether the device is password protected; and if password protected, whether the password is shared. As a general rule, the greater the protections taken to keep communications private, the more likely it will be that intercepting such a communication will be illegal.