The details are somewhat vague, but charges were filed against a man who accessed his wife’s Gmail account. Oakland County prosecutor, Jessica Cooper, reportedly called the husband (now ex-husband) “a hacker” in a voicemail message to Detroit Free Press.
He felt he had a right to get access to the account.
The prosecutor filed charges; they obviously disagreed.
Here are key factors in this case:
1) the husband printed his wife’s emails and distributed them to others,
2) the husband reports that his actions were to protect a child that might be subjected to a child abuser,
3) the matter of right to privacy between a husband and wife,
4) the unspoken desire to prove a spouse is lying and unfaithful,
5) the husband had technical savvy to access a password protected email account that was not his own.
Charges filed. What next?
What provoked the prosecutor to file charges against the husband? Surely this isn’t the first time emails came up in divorce cases. Why now?
Will the Walker case establish legal precedence in right to email privacy disputes between husbands and wives? Will the courts become bogged by angry spouses when privacy is violated ? Will this be a revenge tool for those wanting an easy way out or hoping to cause stress and pain? All are possible. This might explain why this case gained national attention (besides the fact that many have never considered or discussed their own email boundaries).
The most important fact remains: the desire to snoop is usually built on a lack of trust.
One person can have prevailing issues with trusting others, despite having a trustworthy spouse.
Sometimes a couple is emerging from past behaviors that stripped trust from the relationship for one or both partners.
For others, a new situation might cause the established trust to crumble.
Snooping won’t resolve trust issues and very dangerous behaviors can result from distrust. As a mental health professional, I saw many people, couples and families struggle past situations where broken trust wreaked havoc on every member of a household, including the children. Snooping can be the tip of the havoc iceberg.
Distrust is best addressed with a professional (or the other person in the relationship) before behaviors such as snooping begin. Trust is generally repaired by consistent and stable words and behavior. It takes time and often needs a counselor or spiritual advisor’s support. As of today, there will be one more reason to get help for trust issues as snooping might result in jail time.
What do you think?