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back to article Techie accused of snooping wife's email cleared of wrongdoing

A computer technician accused of hacking into his wife's webmail account to search for evidence of an affair has been cleared of all wrongdoing. A computer hacking charge against Leon Walker was dropped after it emerged in court that his then-partner Clara Walker had been reading her husband's mobile text messages at the same …

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WTF?

This is the stuff that Talk Shows are made from. Multiple husbands/wifes, presumed mis-treated children, pathetic email "hacking", snooping spouses SMSs, spouse doesn't come home one night. How much worse can it get...

This doesn't belong on the register, it belongs on the Jerry Springer/Opera Winfrey show....

At the very least a whiff of some new hacking technique or social engineering skill would have been welcome.... Is the Daily Mail available, every morning, on everyones desk, at El Reg ?

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Go

"Like meatloaf through a straw"*

These are the days of our....

*John Blackman, some time in the '80's.

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Anonymous Coward

Just gotta check

Otherwise how do you know she's not sh*****g your,

Best mate, next door neighbour, vicar, window cleaner,garage mechanic, brother, postman, boss, work colleague, gardener, one night stands after a night out or maybe she's just a lesbian?

Paranoid?

40% of them do according to a recent survey......

However just remember this, she may pretend not to know anything about tech, but she'll be checking your emails too, then receipts, pockets, wallet, statements (remember what you bought and told her it was a half price offer!), car etc etc etc.

90% of them do according to a recent survey. The other 10% have already left.

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>>This doesn't belong on the register, it belongs on the Jerry Springer/Opera Winfrey show....

Deffo *should* be on el reg, the real question is, is there a right to privacy regardless of technical skill required to "hack", a shared PC may require *no* skill, a voicemail service with default passwords etc. the fact that the privacy issue was dismissed because she snooped his phone is probably the interesting (and legal) point.

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Anonymous Coward

Well there seems to be a lot of 'it happened to my mate' on here.

Sounds closer to home than that doesn't it!

If you didn't spend so much time on you tech, Xbox, phone, tablet

,computer, mp3 player and actually gave her one on occasion she might not be at it with the best mate.

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Nope don't quite agree

This sounds more like the case of a failed marriage rather than industrial espionage.

I would surmise that the Judge understood the situation and dismissed it because the email "hacking", SMS checking was nothing more than a side effect of an already failed relationship/marriage.

Basically this a domestic affair that should never have ended up in court in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nope don't quite agree

I think it's important to keep a perspective here - this guy was facing FELONY charges for reading his wife's e-mail on a machine they shared, after she failed to come home.

If you're a techie and that sort of thing doesn't give you the slightest pause, then you're a fscking idiot.

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Re: Nope don't quite agree

The perspective shows that this is a "none" case, everyone went home because the judge decided that NO FELONY was commited.

Ask yourself why the Judge didn't throw the book at the techie...... You don't have to be Einstein.

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She snooped his phone and he snooped her email. Jail them both for wasting everyone's time

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@Thorne

Jail them both for wasting everyone's time

Do some research. He was protecting his stepchild, whom the wife was endangering - the guy Clara Walker was having the affair with is abusive. Leon Walker was charged after he sent an email to the kid's biological dad to let him know that his ex was putting his kid in danger.

The people who deserve punishment here are Clara Walker, her scumbag boyfriend, and the prosecutor who charged Leon Walker in the first place (Jessica Cooper).

And the prosecution's looking to file new charges, on an equally bogus basis. This isn't over.

See eg http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/viewart/20120713/NEWS01/307130056/Some-charges-dropped-husband-wife-snooping-case for more information.

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A friend of mine...

...hacked into his (then) girlfriends' email account. Turned out she had an affair while on holiday and continued to converse with her lover, even planning to meet again.

My friend said he know it was wrong to hack her account but had he not, he would never have found out. They broke up and is now married to the most wonderful woman in the world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A friend of mine...

Same here. I never would have found otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A friend of mine...

Oh, you know each other! Small world. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A friend of mine...

It's not always hacking. For example, I didn't hack my ex's account. It was my mailserver and her surname is not the easiest thing to spell. As admin, the bounce came to me.

Turns out there had been a lot more bouncing of a different type. And the guy in question, as an IT Security Manager for a very large telco, really should have known enough to check his spelling.

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Re: A friend of mine...

"They broke up and is now married to the most wonderful woman in the world."

And his milkman, binman and postman heartily agree with that description of her.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A friend of mine...

Since I'm a geek...

I made sure unencrypted connections were used to access mail. Snooped the network and then rebuilt the emails from that.

Never hacked the account so can not be charged with that.

It was my network so I had a right to capture any packets on that network.

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Re: most wonderful woman in the world.

Has he hacked her email as well, just to make sure she is? Maybe he could hire a private detective as well, bug her phone, that sort of thing?

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FAIL

Re: A friend of mine...

"A friend of mine hacked into his (then) girlfriend's account...."

Strikes me that if your friend felt the need to hack into his girlfriend's account, the relationship might as well be over whether or not she was having an affair.

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Re: A friend of mine...

Don't you trust me .... and for everything else there is 'Ethereal'

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Mushroom

Re: A friend of mine...

It's WireShark, m8... Hasn't been Ethereal for donkey's.

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Happy

Re: A friend of mine...

Yep I know, was called 'Ethereal' when I used it for intercepting the ex wife's illicit traffic.

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Re: A friend of mine...

The physical network may be yours but the information is not.

By the same token the Royal Mail would then be allowed to open up all of your personal mail and your ISP has the right to snoop on all of your online activity.

Most judges won't care whether you hacked a password or sniffed the wire, the intended results are the same.

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Flame

I refuse to call it 'hacking'.

Unauthorized access? Maybe. Hacking? No.

Hacking would involve either exploiting software vulnerabilities or using tools like a keylogger. This guy, in all probability, just logged onto her account with her password. That's something that any husband might do for his wife or vice-versa when she's away from her PC and calls to find out if the email from so-and-so arrived yet.

I know, 'hacking' makes for a great headline, but it is totally inaccurate. It also turns a domestic squabble and a privacy issue into something that it is not. It also lends an undeserved aura of sophistication, glamour and cleverness to simple, ugly domestic spying. So many good reasons *not* to use the term, and no good reasons to use it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A friend of mine...

as in

They broke up and are now married to the most wonderful woman in the world

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WTF?

Re: A friend of mine...

Wow... there are far more paranoid nuts on the reg forums than I'd have believed. Personally I don't think anyone has the right to intercept their partner's communications, regardless of their motivation. This guy just about got away with it because their was a child's welfare at stake which could be used as mitigating circumstances and his wife 'fessed up to the same dirty tricks. Don't be confused though, the child's welfare had nothing to do with his original motivation to read her email.

If you think your spouse is cheating on you then ask them about it. If you still feel you can't trust them then you shouldn't continue the relationship, regardless of what their emails may or may not say.

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Re: A friend of mine...

Wow... there are far more paranoid nuts on the reg forums than I'd have believed. Personally I don't think anyone has the right to intercept their partner's communications, regardless of their motivation.

And personally I think you're an ass. My wife has the right to "intercept" my "communications" - that's implicit in our marriage vows and in the way we conduct our relationship. If she wants to go to the trouble, more power to her. I dare say she feels the same way, though it's never come up and I doubt it ever will. And that doesn't make either of us "paranoid nuts".

This guy just about got away with it because their was a child's welfare at stake

Yes, god forbid anyone help protect a child from an abuser. And it's "there was". Twit.

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Devil

I hack an ex's mind

Well, I noticed something was wrong....

Stood one night at a bus stop near her house on the way home, don't know why I stopped but I sat there for about 20 minutes.... waiting.... then I saw my mate running up the hill to her house... Confirmed my suspicisions...

Now happily married with someone else :D

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Anonymous Coward

I haven't done this but

if I did, I don't know if I could resist the temptation to send an email while I was logged in to the account

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Anonymous Coward

I once obtained an IP address of someone that was nasty to my wife over MSN and then pointed out that I knew his address (I was a couple of streets off) but close enough for him to be very apologetic. I guess it's the same thing. Although the wife no longer keeps her logs and even has a password that she thinks I don't know.

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Anonymous Coward

What are these "girlfriends" of which you speak?

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Anonymous Coward

Not girlfriends, "wives"

There are evidently quite a few men ("victims") who are so hapless that they just go around proposing to anything with a pulse.

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Anonymous Coward

I was unable to resist

Haha everyone in my now ex wifes office had her whole sordid affair forwarded to them :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I was unable to resist

Well that's pretty sad, the only person who looks a fool is you, I mean the first thing she'll say it look what she had to put up with. Sounds like you haven't got over it, bet she has!

Petty revenge is just that.

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I'd be more surprised if he wasn't checking up on her. But two wrongs shouldn't make a right.

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Anonymous Coward

My missus knows that I have her PC and email password, seeing as I set them up. I don't bother checking up on her, cos I'm sure she wouldn't be stupid enough to leave evidence where I might find it.

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Lets be very clear on some thing. Hi did not hack or break into goolge. He had his wife's password. Does a spouse have the right to read another spouse's mail? If she was missing , I don't think the police would of asked for warrant if he give them her password.

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Anonymous Coward

@ kain

I of voted you down because you fail to comprehend simple words.

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Headmaster

English, motherfucker

Do you type it?

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Re: English, motherfucker

I don't type it, I just nut the keyboard repeatedly. Luckily this is the universe where the probability of what I want to type and what actually appears on screen being the same are 1.

In nearly every other universe my posts are just long strings of random characters. Apart from that one where all my posts are in a 1337 5p34|< version of Esperanto. Nobody knows why that is though.

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Anonymous Coward

In case you care...

His elite hacking skillz comprised of his wife's email set as the the last browsed page, and fully logged in.

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Sly
Meh

This whole fiasco is a...

cluster*what?!*

Pretty well screwed from every angle except one... there was apparently no marital relations actually happening.

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