Can You Go to Jail for Reading Your Lover’s E-mails?


Thirty-three year-old Michigan resident Leon Walker has been charged with a felony after logging into his then-wife’s Gmail account, and now he stands in the cross hairs of jealous lovers making questionable decisions and important legal questions surrounding the Internet. The facts are not in dispute: Walker, who has since divorced, suspected his wife was cheating on him, and he confirmed it by reading her e-mails. The e-mails not only revealed that she was indeed sneaking around on him, but also that she was doing it with her former husband (her second husband) - a man who, Walker discovered, was once arrested for assaulting Walker’s then-wife in front of her son. Walker forwarded the revealing e-mails to his wife’s first husband, the father of her child, who filed for emergency custody. Now Walker has been arrested and could face up to five years in jail, with prosecutors relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes like identity theft or stealing trade secrets. “The guy’s a hacker,” Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said. “[The email account] was password protected, he had wonderful skills, and he used them in a very contentious way.” Please. Figuring out (or perhaps having been told) your wife’s Gmail password? The man’s no Ali Wise.

Is reading wife’s e-mail a crime? Rochester Hills man faces trial [Detroit Free Press]
Should You Be Locked Up For Reading Your Spouse’s Email? [Atlantic Wire]
Michigan man could serve 5 years for reading wife’s email [This Just In/CNN]