Feeds

Couple can sue service that monitored their net sex

Laptop tracking firm may have violated wiretap law

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against a laptop-tracking service that surreptitiously intercepted explicit images from a public school teacher during an investigation of a stolen computer.

Susan Clements-Jeffrey filed the suit against Absolute Software after one of its employees captured steamy chats and naked images of her and her out-of-state boyfriend, according to an article from Wired.com and other reports. The investigation, which intercepted images of the woman naked and her legs spread, commenced after a used computer she bought for $60 from one of her students had Absolute's LoJack for Laptops installed on it – and the laptop turned out to be stolen property.

Clements-Jeffrey claims she first learned the laptop was stolen when police brandishing copies of the steamy images arrested her for possession of stolen property. The charges were dropped shortly after.

She sued Absolute, its employee, the city of Springfield, Ohio, and two of its police officers for violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which prohibits the secret interception and disclosure of contents from wire, oral, or electronic communications.

The defendants asked the judge hearing the case for a summary judgement finding that she had no reasonable expectation of privacy because the computer she was using was stolen. The price of the laptop and a serial number that had been scratched off should have tipped her off that the machine had been misappropriated, they argued in a motion that asked the suit be resolved in their favor.

US District Judge Walter Rice of the southern district of Ohio declined. He said there were grounds to believe the defendants had gone too far and that the matter would be better decided by a jury.

“It is one thing to cause a stolen computer to report its IP address or its geographical location in an effort to track it down,” Rice wrote. “It is something entirely different to violate federal wiretapping laws by intercepting the electronic communications of the person using the stolen laptop.”

It's too early to know how the case will turn out, but it's likely Clements-Jeffrey and her boyfriend have radically altered their expectations of privacy when it comes to internet communications. More from the Internet Cases blog and Forbes here and here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.