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US insurance salesman 'bugged' bosses' PC

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A Californian insurance claims manager was yesterday charged with planting an electronic bug on a computer owned by his former employers.

Larry Lee Ropp, 46, was indicted on a single wiretapping charge yesterday over an allegation that he planted a keystroke logger on a PC used by a secretary to senior executives at Bristol West Insurance Group.

Police arrested Ropp after he allegedly asked a former colleague to remove the bug, following his earlier dismissal by the insurance group.

The motive for the alleged bugging remains uncertain but Reuters reports that an affidavit filed with the indictment alleges that Ropp hoped to feed information to lawyers leading a class action suit against Bristol West.

US investigators describe the case as the first of its kind to invoke federal wiretapping laws. Its not the first time the US courts had dealt with a case involving misuse of keystroke logging technology, however.

Ropp, who faces up to five years' imprisonment if convicted, was released on bail pending committal proceedings, scheduled for 5 April.®

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