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Cowgirl Lawyer
Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1422
Experience:  Attorney for 22 years, criminal defense, from misdemeanors to murder, trials and appeals.
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is it a criminal offense to read, print and distribute ...

Resolved Question:

is it a criminal offense to read, print and distribute someones email files without their permission?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Cowgirl Lawyer replied 9 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I need some additional information.

Who obtained your emails? I do not want their name, but rather their relationship to you - ie., family member, friend, employer, co-worker, etc.

Did this person have authorized access to your computer?

How did this person obtain access to your email?

Thank you,
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Gloria Morris's Post: This was a disgruntled family member/former employee.
No permission to read emails
Not sure how they got access to emails
Expert:  Cowgirl Lawyer replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. I still need more specific information.

Did this person have access to your computer?

Did this person have permission to use your computer?

Thank you,

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Gloria Morris's Post: no- I may have used their computer once to send an email.
They never had permission to do anything with any of my accounts.
Expert:  Cowgirl Lawyer replied 9 years ago.

The general rule with email is that you should not write anything in an email that you would not publish in the newspaper, as email is notoriously subject to being publicly exposed. There are a few protections under the law, but they are not sufficient protection for most instances.

I do not have enough specific information from you to give you an opinion about your specific circumstances. However, because your family member was also an employee, there is a possibility that the situation is covered by federal law. One such statute is 18 U.S.C. § 2701.

Since this is a federal law, the FBI would be the appropriate agency to report this to for investigation. They are the ones with jurisdiction over the issue. As with all police-type of agencies, they do not have a duty to pursue all complaints, even where the law has definitely been violated. And, indeed, they commonly exercise discretion in which cases they expend their resources.

However, if you have sustained economic damage as a result of this privacy violation, it may be that they would pursue an investigation.

Good luck to you!

Please ACCEPT. Positive feedback and bonuses are appreciated!

Gloria Morris

Attorney at Law

Legal Disclaimer: The information I am providing you is for informational and research use only. You are paying me only for such information. The information is not legal advice and by rendering such information there is no formation of an attorney-client relationship. As the law is constantly changing, you are advised to consult with legal counsel in your area for specific information relevant to your situation.

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