Shawn Macleod of Texas wanted to know where his estranged wife was going on the Internet and what she was writing in e-mails, so he secretly installed a program called SpyRecon on her computer that sent him electronic logs with the sites she had visited and messages she had sent. His spying resulted in a four-year prison sentence, says the Austin American-Statesman. Austin police considered Macleod’s actions tantamount to illegal wiretapping and charged him with unlawful interception of electronic communication, a second-degree felony.
Doug Fowler of SpectorSoft Corp., which manufactures an Internet monitoring program called eBlaster, said law enforcement agencies nationwide have in recent months sought company records during criminal investigations, hoping the documents would show who installed the software on victims’ computers. “The problem itself isn’t the software,” said an Austin police. “The problem is how the software is being used.  There are warnings on there that it may be against the law. In Texas, it is.” State law says it is illegal to intentionally intercept spoken or electronic communication.