Sunday, August 21, 2016

It Just Got Harder to Spy on Your Spouse Online

Joseph Zhang became suspicious of his wife Catherine’s online activities, so he installed software called WebWatcher on their home computer in Ohio to track her. The fallout was not just a divorce, but a landmark court ruling that could have long-term implications for both users and makers of so-called spyware.

According to an appeals court in Cincinnati, the maker of the spyware used by Zhang violated federal and state wire-tapping laws by intercepting the messages of a Florida man, Javier Luis, who had been communicating with Catherine in an America Online chatroom called “Metaphysics.”

The legal case begin in 2010 not long after Zhang used messages captured with the spyware to obtain leverage in divorce proceedings, even though a court said the relationship between his wife and Luis was “apparently platonic.” more