A New Jersey teacher rifled through a colleague's email after she left her mailbox open on a public computer. She and her correspondents sued him. Jurors cleared him on hacking charges, however, agreeing that her failure to log out amounted to "tacit authorization." Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica:
According to New Jersey law, a person is guilty if he "knowingly accesses without authorization a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided or exceeds an authorization to access that facility." The judge ruled that Marcus, not Rogers, had accessed her e-mail. So Rogers was on safe ground on the "access" question. However, the judge let the jury decide whether Rogers had exceeded the "authorization" Marcus had accidentally granted to him. The jury ruled that he had not.
At Internet Cases, attorney Evan Brown offers an analysis of the case: "The decision is potentially relevant to contexts other than email accounts on desktop computers. Does a person who finds another’s mobile device have the right to rummage through all the accounts (e.g., social media, email, dating sites) that the phone’s owner is logged into? This case underscores that the answer will be, frustratingly, 'it depends.'"
Also, yes, there is a stock photo for everything.
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