Is It Illegal For A Husband To Snoop On His Wife?

A Michigan man  faces 5 years in prison after snooping in his wife's email account. i i

hide captionA Michigan man faces 5 years in prison after snooping in his wife's email account.

Rich H Legg/iStockPhoto.com
A Michigan man  faces 5 years in prison after snooping in his wife's email account.

A Michigan man faces 5 years in prison after snooping in his wife's email account.

Rich H Legg/iStockPhoto.com

Divorce cases often include emails, Facebook posts and other online evidence of affairs that was gained by snooping. A Michigan man, though, now faces 5-years in prison for logging into his wife's Gmail account and discovering that she was having an affair with one of her ex-husbands. The Detroit Free Press covered the story:

Legal experts say it's the first time the statute has been used in a domestic case, and it might be hard to prove.
"It's going to be interesting because there are no clear legal answers here," said Frederick Lane, a Vermont attorney and nationally recognized expert who has published five books on electronic privacy. The fact that the two still were living together, and that Leon Walker had routine access to the computer, may help him, Lane said.
"I would guess there is enough gray area to suggest that she could not have an absolute expectation of privacy," he said.

There's a lot more to this story — the husband who snooped reported the affair to his wife's first husband who filed a motion for custody of their son. She was having the affair with her second husband. All the details are at the Free Press' site.

The bigger question, though, is whether or not a spouse should face a felony charge for snooping. What do you think?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: