My post "Pretexting During An Asset Search" explained that using false pretenses may violate privacy laws during an asset search.  "Attorney Christensen’s Wiretap Conviction" additionally mentioned the case of a California attorney who violated privacy laws by conspiring to wiretap a divorcing spouse’s phone. 

Privacy laws however, don’t just criminalize certain types of pretexting or wiretapping.  They also prohibit the computer intrusions mentioned at 18 U.S.C. §1030 (Fraud and related activity in connection with computers).  Indicted under 18 U.S.C. §1030 in U.S.A. v. David C. Kernell, was the alleged hacker of Governor Palin’s e-mail account.  The hacker(s) of 33 celebrity Twitter accounts described in "Following The Twitter Hack Trail To DigitalGangster" might similarly be indicted for a suspected violation of 18 U.S.C. §1030.  

Minneapolis Police Officer Michael David Roberts was also indicted pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1030 for allegedly accessing a police computer system to sell nonpublic information related to a Minnesota license plate.  Meanwhile, former State Department Intelligence Analyst Lawrence C. Yontz entered a plea agreement this past September after he was accused of violating 18 U.S.C. §1030.  Page 4 of Mr. Yontz’s "Factual Basis For Plea" explained that he had accessed a State Department computer out of "idle curiosity" and:

"…viewed the passport applications of nearly 200 celebrities, athletes, actors, politicians and their immediate families, musicians, game show contestants,members of the media corps, prominent business professionals, colleagues, associates, neighbors,and individuals identified in the press." (Id. at page 4).

Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams