Some good comments have come from fellow family law practitioners to my post on safe Internet use. One -- and and the emphasis is mine -- from P. Rowland Graff of St. George, Utah says:
I am sure that we will see more of this in the future because
computers are so prevalent in today's society. According to the ABA journal
online, A West Virginia Attorney will be suspended for two years for hacking his
wife's email account at her law office. Does Lawyer’s E-Mail Snooping Merit
2-Year Suspension? http://www.abajournal.com/weekly/does_lawyers_e_mail_snooping_merit_2_year_suspension.
According to the article, the husband was able to guess his wife's password.
Many people use passwords that are comprised of easy-to-remember components, such as part of an address or phone number, a child's name, a pet's name. Let's face it: With a little effort, people who know you well can usually guess your password.
Do take seriously the issue of Internet safety. As a general rule, if you have any concerns about the safety of your Internet communications, do not use a home computer.
For fellow lawyers, here's a tip I received from attorney Jeffrey Zoeller of East Lansing, Michigan, who took a proactive approach to the potential for Internet surveillance:
Thanks for the great tips – I would agree with them all.
If my client suspects their email account is being monitored by their spouse, I tell them to get a new email account (using the precautions you outlined) and then we talk in person about ways to verify they are being monitored by their spouse.
In one case where my client thought his spouse was monitoring his private email, I asked the client to send me an email from the suspect account asking if he had to disclose a foreign bank account in response to the interrogatories sent by the other party. My email reply was “Call me and talk about this.” When we sent the interrogatory answers back, I got a call a few days later from the other attorney who said “I know your client perjured himself on his interrogatory answers. I can prove he has a foreign bank account that he did not disclose in his interrogatory answers.”
I asked for some proof and they sent us a print out of the phony email sent by my client from the suspect account. This proof of eavesdropping helped us keep a PPO in place.