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A Florida wife who installed spyware on her husband's PC in order to catch him in flagrante while he indulged in Yahoo! Dominoes with his online lover has been found guilty of violating state law.

Beverly Ann O'Brien was found guilty under Florida's wiretapping law of illegally obtaining the online chat records because she "intercepted the electronic communication contemporaneously with transmission", said Judge Donald Grincewicz.

The defence had argued that "the monitoring didn't fall under the law's prohibitions and was akin to reading a stored file on her husband's computer - which would not be treated as wiretapping".

The three-judge panel rejected this analysis, declaring: "It is illegal and punishable as a crime to intercept electronic communications."

The three judges further ruled that O'Brien could not reveal the content of the online conversations, and neither were they admissable as evidence in the couple's divorce proceedings. ®

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