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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday October 16 2014, @09:26PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the domestic-spying dept.

Michelle Cottle reports in The Atlantic that in an earlier era, a suspicious husband might have rifled through his wife's pockets or hired a private investigator but today spouses have easy access to an array of sophisticated spy software that records every keystroke; compiles detailed logs of calls, texts, and video chats; that tracks a phone’s location in real time; recovers deleted messages from all manner of devices (without having to touch said devices); and that turns phones into wiretapping equipment. One might assume that the proliferation of such spyware would have a chilling effect on extramarital activities. But according to Cottle, aspiring cheaters, need not despair: software developers are also rolling out ever stealthier technology to help people conceal their affairs. Right or wrong, cheating apps tap into a potentially lucrative market and researchers regard the Internet as fertile ground for female infidelity in particular. “Men tend to cheat for physical reasons and women for emotional reasons,” says Katherine Hertlein. “The Internet facilitates a lot of emotional disclosure and connections with someone else.”

But virtual surveillance has its risks. Stumbling across an incriminating email your partner left open is one thing; premeditated spying can land you in court. A Minnesota man named Danny Lee Hormann, suspecting his wife of infidelity, installed a GPS tracker on her car and allegedly downloaded spyware onto her phone and the family computer. In March 2010, Hormann's wife had a mechanic search her car and found the tracker. She called the police, and Hormann spent a month in jail on stalking charges. “I always tell people two things: (1) do it legally, and (2) do it right,” says John Paul Lucich, a computer-forensics expert and the author of Cyber Lies, a do-it-yourself guide for spouses looking to become virtual sleuths. Lucich has worked his share of ugly divorces, and he stresses that even the most damning digital evidence of infidelity will prove worthless in court—and potentially land you in trouble—if improperly gathered. His blanket advice: Get a really good lawyer.

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  • (Score: 2) by arslan on Thursday October 16 2014, @09:48PM

    by arslan (3462) on Thursday October 16 2014, @09:48PM (#106812)

    IANAL, but what is the problem here, that the husband gathered information without the wife's knowledge or the husband accessed the car without the wife's knowledge?

    Isn't the former the same as hiring a PI the old fashion way to snap pics covertly?

    As for the second don't all spouses do that? Do people actually request permission and approval for every little thing they do to their spouses's car? What software do they use to keep an audit trail?

    • (Score: 2) by Snow on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:05PM

      by Snow (1601) on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:05PM (#106818) Journal

      If they were married, then wouldn't they both own the car? If my wife sold the TV without my permission, would that be theft?

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:09PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:09PM (#106822) Journal

      Isn't the former the same as hiring a PI the old fashion way to snap pics covertly?

      Except you didn't pay the system for a PI license; you expect the system not to bite you back?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by hubie on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:19PM

      by hubie (1068) on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:19PM (#106829) Journal

      I don't know if this applies here, but the laws get different when you move into the communications arena and wiretapping.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Gravis on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:22PM

    by Gravis (4596) on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:22PM (#106831)

    if you aren't mature enough to trust your spouse then you aren't mature enough to be married. if you aren't mature enough to be a faithful spouse then you aren't mature enough to be married.

    immature people need to stop getting married. what is pathetic that some people never mature!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Dunbal on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:44PM

      by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday October 16 2014, @10:44PM (#106837)

      Problem is you are expecting immature people to be mature enough to recognize their immaturity and act in a mature fashion.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 16 2014, @11:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 16 2014, @11:09PM (#106840)

        Immature people don't know they're immature because they use their immature brain to check?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @02:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @02:34AM (#106873)

        Turn it around. What if mature people were immature enough to recognize their maturity and act in an immature fashion?

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday October 16 2014, @11:46PM

      by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 16 2014, @11:46PM (#106844) Journal

      1) Society needs to rethink what infidelity means.
      2) There is no need to spy on a spouse because if you feel the need, your relationship is broken (either because you are a jealous primitive possessive asshole, or because you value sexual fidelity over everything else and are right about being given horns) in which case you should get a divorce ASAP.

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @12:22AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @12:22AM (#106855)

        Heh, just because YOU aren't mature enough to handle pair-bonding doesn't mean polygamous behavior is healthy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @02:59AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @02:59AM (#106876)

          Because divorce and infidelity are clearly superior to consenting adults engaging in open relationships or economic unions. Polygamists/swingers sound more mature to me.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday October 17 2014, @12:56AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday October 17 2014, @12:56AM (#106862) Journal

        1) People may want to preserve their health from STD arriving via their partners infidelity. Otoh, a blood transfusion may do the same damage.
        2) A lot of people share kids, mortgage, social circles but in many cases obviously not emotional bond or sex. Perhaps people shouldn't bond in ways that are unsustainable.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @08:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @08:44AM (#106918)

        The relationship may be broke, but proving infidelity might make the divorce easier or more favorable to you. But in that case you will want to make sure it is done properly so any evidence you obtain is usable, as such hiring a PI to do it is probably better.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @02:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @02:53AM (#106874)

      There are many divorces in the U.S. There are also many cases of complete deception by one (or both) partners, or even mental illness.

      Hence, a thriving industry.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @09:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17 2014, @09:00AM (#106922)

      Well said.

      Get a really good lawyer.

      No, get a good spouse.

    • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Friday October 17 2014, @11:26AM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Friday October 17 2014, @11:26AM (#106947)

      Why would you want to impose your particular kind of relashionship to everyone else? My marriage is pretty traditional, but I know people who are happy living in different ways.

      Why would I judge them? Why would they judge me?

    • (Score: 2) by monster on Friday October 17 2014, @02:41PM

      by monster (1260) on Friday October 17 2014, @02:41PM (#107028) Journal

      Isn't even more inmature that the system judges the behaviour of both members of the couple in order to decide how their property must be distributed?

      So his wife may have had a relationship with another person. So what? Does she deserve less of the common goods than if she didn't? What if she didn't, but is a mean, abusive person. Does it count? Does it if he prefers to watch football with his friends instead of going to theatre with her?

      My point is that it's not the judge's business to decide if the lives of the couple are moral or not and award them accordingly. If there were no illegal actions, just do a fair distribution and let them part ways.

  • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Friday October 17 2014, @07:45AM

    by mtrycz (60) on Friday October 17 2014, @07:45AM (#106907)

    If you choose monogamy, then why don't you just stick with it? It's (or should be?) based on trust, and if trusts goes away, then maybe the whole relation should go?

    Anyway, I haven't read the whole FA yet, but does it point to any auditing techniques against surveillance?

    --
    In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 17 2014, @10:19AM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday October 17 2014, @10:19AM (#106934) Journal

    If you're married, you hold property jointly. That's why when you get divorced the lawyers get to get paid so much figuring out who gets what. So how is putting a GPS tracker on a vehicle you jointly own illegal? Is it also illegal to monitor what your kids watch on television? Should I get myself to sign a waiver before wearing a fitbit?

    How did we end up in upside-down world where it is "legal" for the government to spy on everyone without a warrant but it is illegal for you to spy on yourself?

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Friday October 17 2014, @09:09PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Friday October 17 2014, @09:09PM (#107153) Journal

      How did we end up in upside-down world where it is "legal" for the government to spy on everyone without a warrant but it is illegal for you to spy on yourself?

      To quote the great humanitarian Ayn Rand: [goodreads.com]

      "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."

      Just as police speeding with their strobes off is ignored, but you and I would get fines for doing the same, so as it is becoming elsewhere in law.

  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday October 17 2014, @02:20PM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday October 17 2014, @02:20PM (#107012) Homepage

    I think someone should do a study on the satisfaction and happiness of arranged marriages versus marriages out of "love". I think the results would be enlightening.

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  • (Score: 2) by skullz on Friday October 17 2014, @03:01PM

    by skullz (2532) on Friday October 17 2014, @03:01PM (#107040)

    Okay... all the armchair psychoanalysis aside, this really comes down to someone monitoring your communications using an app and you countering that. These programs have been around for a while but it is generally easier on a PC vs a mobile. Seems that non-jailbroken Apple is better protected from snooping than others, no surprise there.

    Personally, I would be more concerned with ANY of these apps as you would have to give them the keys to the kingdom to function. What happens when the bugs get discovered and a 3rd party walks away with all your data? "Sorry, honey, I didn't trust you and now we have three extra mortgages and a dozen maxed out credit cards! My bad!"