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Divorce, Cybersecurity, and the Illinois Eavesdropping Act

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney, Illinois Eavesdropping Act, cybersecurity, Wheaton divorce lawyer,divorce processIn today’s connected world, nearly everyone carries a powerful electronic device with them everywhere they go, leaving a trail of information as they browse the Internet, send email, connect with people on social media, make phone calls, and send text messages. While we expect to maintain our privacy when communicating in this fashion, we often relax our security when we are around close family members. 

During divorce, spouses may take advantage of this relaxed security and attempt to access their former partner’s email or social media accounts, monitor what they do on their computer, or read the text messages on their phone, all in hopes of gaining information they can use to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. While it may be tempting to try to access a former spouse’s information in this manner, you should be aware of how the law addresses these types of acts.

The Illinois Eavesdropping Act

Concerns about police surveillance have led to changes in Illinois law in recent years, but these laws affect private cybersecurity as well. The Illinois Eavesdropping Act prohibits listening to or recording private conversations or intercepting or transcribing private electronic communications without the consent of every party involved in the conversation. Under this law, it is illegal to record a spoken conversation or any electronic information, including text, images, audio, and other types of data, and it is also illegal to have someone else, such as a private detective, make this kind of recording on your behalf. 

While eavesdropping is a criminal offense, and committing it is a Class 4 felony, the law also states that evidence gathered in this manner is inadmissible in both civil and criminal trials. This means that any information resulting from activities like accessing a spouse’s private emails or recording their conversations cannot be used in court during divorce. 

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

Even though the law prohibits your spouse accessing your information, it is a good idea to protect yourself by changing the passwords on your computer, your phone, and your social media and email accounts. However, you should be aware that any emails, text messages, or voicemails you send to your spouse are admissible in court, so be careful not to send messages that could be construed as harassing or abusive.

If you are concerned about cybersecurity issues during your divorce, the knowledgeable attorneys of Anderson & Associates, PC can help you understand your rights and advocate for you throughout the divorce process. Contact a DuPage County divorce attorney at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=33800000&SeqEnd=35000000

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