There has been a raging debate over the use of keyloggers to monitor employees, children and spouses. This excerpt from Aunty Spam shows that keyloggers can land you in a world of trouble.
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A Florida court has ruled that it is not ok to install spyware on your spouse?s computer to monitor what they do, and that, indeed, to do so rises to the level of a punishable criminal offense.
The ruling arose in the context of divorce proceedings between James and Beverly Ann O?Brien. Beverly, apparently suspicious that her spouse was being unfaithful with someone with whom he conversed online, installed Spector, a PC Magazine award winning spy program, on his computer.
Low and behold, it turns out that the game of Yahoo Dominos wasn?t the only thing at which James was playing with his domino partner, and Beverly attempted to introduce the chat logs as evidence in their divorce case.
The evidence, however, was against Beverly, as the Court ruled that by installing the Spector spyware on James? computer, and reading the logs, Beverly had in fact broken the Florida wiretapping law, which says that anyone who intentionally intercepts any electronic communication without appropriate authority commits a criminal act.
Interestingly, in many if not most states now, an employer may monitor an employee?s online conversations.