In Klumb v. Goan, a Tennesse case, the wife Goan, was hit with $20,000 in damages, $10,000 in damages and $10,000 in punitive damages for her egregious conduct, after she installed a spyware program called eBlaster on several of the computers that husband, Klumb used. Klumb was also awarded fees and costs.
Goan also intercepted three emails sent to Klumb and altered the emails to make it look like “[the sender] and [Klumb] were having an affair.” Apparently a finding of infidelity altered the split of property between the parties under the prenuptial agreement in place between the parties and under an agreed order entered in the divorce case that was initiated when the marriage soured.
As far as the legal issues, the court does not have any trouble finding that Goan’s interception of Klumb’s email violates the federal Wiretap Act and its Tennessee counterpart.
The most interesting part of this story is Goan is an attorney and should have known better. The message here is clear, don’t spy on anyone’s, including your spouses email. It can cost you Big Bucks!