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Moral / Ethical Question


Grayson5
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My friend recently asked me my opinion on this question due to my hacking background so I thought I would ask the group here for your input.

My friend is going through a divorce with his spouse. They have email accounts with their cable provider. She recently reset his password and broke into his account and read his email.

He has now figured out how to do the same thing with her gmail account.

Does anyone know the legal position of breaking into and reading a spouses email? Is there a difference between a cable email account (since it could be considered joint ownership) and gmail?

I told him to fight fire with fire and check out the gmail account, but wasn't sure of the legal ramifications.

What's your view?

Thanks.

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My friend recently asked me my opinion on this question due to my hacking background so I thought I would ask the group here for your input.

My friend is going through a divorce with his spouse. They have email accounts with their cable provider. She recently reset his password and broke into his account and read his email.

He has now figured out how to do the same thing with her gmail account.

Does anyone know the legal position of breaking into and reading a spouses email? Is there a difference between a cable email account (since it could be considered joint ownership) and gmail?

I told him to fight fire with fire and check out the gmail account, but wasn't sure of the legal ramifications.

What's your view?

Thanks.

Thats between him and his lawyer. If they are married or not, that still doesn't give each other permission to access each others email, by any means. Its called wire fraud, and he should have gotten proof the wife read his email first and reported it. Him doing the same to her gmail puts him in just as bad a situation, especially when they are separated. The ISP account was probably in both their names or of their home account, so if he is out of the home, they might not make an issue of her changing the account details, its kind of like changing the locks on the door of your house, BUT if she changed his password to read his email, I think she may be liable for damages. I'm not a lawyer, and don't claim any of this to be true, so tell him to speak with a real lawyer before acting on anything, and not to try accessing her email, as he could go to jail since its not their joint account he had access to.

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Tell your friend to proceed with the divorce in a timely fashion. Chalk it up as a loss. Don't let him waste his time and energy on such things as what his ex-wife was discussing in private - it's not worth the emotion it solicits.

Get the divorce over with and move on.

edit: And let the expensive lawyer handle the heavy lifting with crap like this. He's going to bill you, anyway.

Edited by kaervek
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I know in the situation of local user accounts. If a spouse knows the password to their significant other's account. They have just as many rights as the spouse does to the information.

So if the spouse has given the email password. It might be the same kind of thing where they were given the password and they have the same access rights.

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Yeah, in a marriage there might be a certain level of access to each others email accounts. However, this isn't an ethical or moral question, this is a legal question. As such, you need to consult a lawyer. If this access could alter the divorce (i.e. the wife was having an affair) then you might be able to submit it under evidence but this depends on the laws your friend is divorcing under. Also, how it was hacked will change things, if the password was guessed, or brute forced will change things.

Most importantly, CONSULT A LAWYER, we're not lawyers and this is a legal question.

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Reminds me of the time that someone wanted me to gather forensics on their "soon to be ex's" desktop/family computer to check for saved emails and etc.

I stayed away.

Moral of the story? Don't gang with the back of someone who is in the rage of passion. You never know later down the road if it can hinder you in some way. Now that's a legal right AND a moral way to go.

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