Latest in David szymuszkiewicz

Image credit:

IRS employee uses Outlook rules to intercept boss's e-mails, convicted of wiretapping

Tim Stevens
12.15.10
13 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links


Here's an interesting question for you: if you set up a rule in Microsoft Outlook to forward messages from one account to another, and you do it without the knowledge of the owner of the account you're forwarding from, are you intercepting or merely copying mail? It may seem like a moot point, but for David Szymuszkiewicz, a former IRS worker, it's an important distinction. David was afraid of being fired after his license was suspended for drunk driving (he needed to drive to the homes of delinquent taxpayers), so he secretly set up this rule on his boss's machine to see what the world was saying about him. The rule was discovered and, wouldn't you know it, he was in trouble. The only question now: whether to charge him under the Wiretap Act for intercepting messages or the Stored Communications Act for merely copying of them.

So, what was your answer to the question above? You might be tempted to say he was simply making a copy, and indeed that was Szymuszkiewicz's argument, but any Exchange admin will tell you that Outlook rules are executed on the server, not at the client, meaning those e-mails were indeed being intercepted. Szymuszkiewicz was convicted of wiretapping but seems to have avoided a harsh sentence, with 18 months probation being handed down. A light punishment for wiretapping, but a heavy one for diddling menus in Outlook.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
13 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Twitch spends big to keep top streamers DrLupo, TimTheTatman and LIRIK

Twitch spends big to keep top streamers DrLupo, TimTheTatman and LIRIK

View
Google's 2019 search trends mark a big year for Baby Yoda and 'Endgame'

Google's 2019 search trends mark a big year for Baby Yoda and 'Endgame'

View
Chevy's 2021 Tahoe and Suburban add OTA updates and big screens

Chevy's 2021 Tahoe and Suburban add OTA updates and big screens

View
The Pirate Bay is testing pirate streaming again

The Pirate Bay is testing pirate streaming again

View
Google reportedly facing a DOJ probe over its $2.1 billion Fitbit purchase

Google reportedly facing a DOJ probe over its $2.1 billion Fitbit purchase

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr