Feeds

Techie accused of snooping wife's email cleared of wrongdoing

His ex had been checking his texts, court hears

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A computer technician accused of hacking into his wife's webmail account to search for evidence of an affair has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

A computer hacking charge against Leon Walker was dropped after it emerged in court that his then-partner Clara Walker had been reading her husband's mobile text messages at the same time that he had been snooping on her Gmail account using a shared PC.

The techie told the court that he had checked his then-wife's email after she failed to return home one night as he suspected Clara Walker was having an affair with her second husband, a man she had left after he was allegedly arrested for beating her in front of her son, a child of her first marriage.

Leon Walker told the court that he was concerned for the boy's welfare, prompting him to hand over the emails to Clara Walker's first husband, who then used them in a custody battle for his son. The 34-year-old computer technician - from Rochester Hills, a northern suburb of Detroit - was Clara's third husband. The origin of these emails emerged in court, and resulted in charges against Leon Walker, which had dragged on for two and a half years, being dropped last week.

This still left the secondary charge related to Leon Walker's access, as a local government techie, to a confidential law enforcement database (CLEMIS) to see if any spouse had been charged with unauthorised access to their partner's email, according to a CBS report.

Prosecutors dropped that charge on Thursday, 19 July, after it emerged that Leon Walker may have been given permission to use the system – or at least that he wasn't properly informed that its use was restricted.

Leon and Clara Walker had a daughter together, a factor that made an already volatile relationship even more fraught. The Walkers have since divorced.

Leon Walker, who has been on paid leave from his county job since his initial arrest, has vowed to rebuild his life.

He reacted to the news with an update to his personal blog on Thursday under the heading "I Am Free". On Twitter he added: "All charges against me have been dropped. I am exonerated. I am free!"

Walker's lawyer, Leon Weiss, hailed the decision and called for a reworking of Michigan's anti-hacking laws. Unless amended, the law could criminalise parental monitoring of their children's online activities and other benign activities, he said in a press statement. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.