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Possible cyber-spying software found on couple's computer

When a business is involved in commercial litigation, such as when a consumer files a complaint against a company, there are many factors that can have unforeseen effects on a business' strategic position.

A recent Michigan newspaper report provided details on how a Montana company is now tied up in a cyber-spying lawsuit that allegedly involves a Pennsylvania based software company, DesignerWare.

For their part, the Wyoming couple claims that the defendants, including the franchisee, had violated their privacy by having monitoring software installed on a computer they purchased through the rental store. The software reportedly recorded the keystrokes made by the computer owner, created screen shots, and took pictures of the computer's user through the web camera.

The judge hearing the case stated that, "I remain very skeptical whether an 'interception' of an 'electronic communication' as required under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act occurred in this case." He further stated that screen shots and keystroke recordings, may not fit under the definition of electronic communications, but would be reviewed "in a more fully developed record."

According to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, an electronic communication is defined as any transfer of "wire, oral, and electronic communications while those communications are being made, are in transit, and when they are stored on computers. The Act applies to email, telephone conversations, and data stored electronically."

In the meantime, due to a recent bankruptcy filing by the Pennsylvania based company; the lawsuit is now on hold.

Source: GoErie.com, "Bankruptcy filing halts cyber-spying lawsuit against North East company," Lisa Thompson, April 9, 2012

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