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Is keylogging an online computer a violation of the Wiretap Act?

Yup, says Orin Kerr of The Volokh Conspiracy. Essential to the professor's disagreement with a district court judge is the definition of "electronic communication." Don't miss his linked commentary:

"The government indicted Ropp for violating the wiretapping statute,
18 U.S.C. 2511, on the ground that he had intercepted Beck's
electronic communications.  Specifically, the e-mails and other
communications that Beck had sent had originated at her keyboard and
then travelled from her computer across the Net.  According to the
government's theory, these communications were the "electronic
communications" Ropp intercepted.

In a meandering opinion, Judge Feess rejected this approach and
granted a motion to dismiss the indictment.  The e-mails and other
communications were not "electronic communications," Judge Feess
held, and therefore the Wiretap Act had not been violated."

Perspectives on phoning it in

Speaking of professional communications, Matt Homann's question today is whether to work at home or not to work at home. He wonders about productivity. Discussing a new ABA Journal article, The [non]billable hour cites a different source that surveys where people who phone it in are phoning it in from -- and how happy most aren't about it. (New term of the day: "hotdesking it" or working anywhere you find space.)

Carolyn Elefant points to the same ABA piece as proof that "a professional home-based office is possible" under your own roof. "Many lawyers resist working from home, worrying primarily about image," Elefant writes in

Brief us: Do you work at home? Hate the very thought? Why? E-mail Legal Blog Watch.

SLAPPed by their own hand

The story of Northern California Carpenters v. Warmington, as Podcast by J. Craig Williams. Or read it yourself. Suggested music: here.

Posted by Product Team on November 23, 2004 at 06:13 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


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