How would you feel if your ISP were secretly monitoring the contents of your email?
The results of an old legal case from the world of online bookselling is bothering online privacy advocates.
Six years ago, Interloc (the predecessor to Alibris, and the first major contemporary listings service) was involved with a case of electronic espionage -- they were caught snooping on emails sent by Amazon.com to booksellers using Interloc's affiliated ISP. As the case unfolded, the young Alibris quickly pled guilty, and divested itself of the businesses involved in the case.
The case continued as US vs. Councilman, in which the government tried to prove that that a former VP of Interloc (not an Alibris employee) violated criminal wiretapping laws by directing the capture of emails from competitors sent to booksellers on Interloc's affiliated ISP.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit just decided that the case was not a violation of criminal wiretapping laws. Online privacy advocates are worried that this weakens Internet users' privacy rights.
Read the full ruling (PDF format).
[Now Reading: The Hazing Reader edited by Hank Nuwer]
Posted by Anirvan