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From The New York Times
By Brad Stone
The age-old business of breaking up has taken a decidedly Orwellian turn, with digital evidence like e-mail messages, traces of Web site visits and mobile telephone records now permeating many contentious divorce cases.
Jolene Barten-Bolender says she discovered a tracking device in a wheel well of the family car.
Spurned lovers steal each other’s BlackBerrys. Suspicious spouses hack into each other’s e-mail accounts. They load surveillance software onto the family PC, sometimes discovering shocking infidelities.
Divorce lawyers routinely set out to find every bit of private data about their clients’ adversaries, often hiring investigators with sophisticated digital forensic tools to snoop into household computers.
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We’ve bumped into a handful of articles on this in the past, including lawyers getting data from EasyPass (electronic tollboothery) and getting narced out by 1-800-Flowers. Clearly, the decision to snoop on a loved one should not be made lightly. Going into someone’s email or tracking his/her web traffic is sort of a late-stage action. Honestly, what if you’re wrong? In the same way that cheating irrevocably casts doubt, so does snooping. And does discovering nothing really make someone feel better? If one form of surveillance fails, do you step up the effort? When do you feel good about this whole thing? Slippery slope. On the other hand, you might drag along your pregnant sister and her unmarried baby’s daddy and catch your husband at his fantasy sports draft (thank you, Knocked Up). As always, we advocate forthright conversation about these issues. Yeah, easier said than done.