On Wednesday, Motherboard showed how powerful off-the-shelf, $170 spyware really is. For a day, I used a piece of software on my phone to surreptitiously collect GPS location data, intercept phone calls, and silently steal photos.
Although a hacker can only infect a phone if they have physical access to the device, the threat from this type of malware is very real. It is heavily used by, and marketed towards, jealous lovers to spy on their spouses. For around two decades, people have used spyware for this purpose, with many cases ending up in violence or even murder.
NOTE FROM FIELDS AND DENNIS — THIS IS PART OF A SERIES ON CYBER PROTECTION DURING DIVORCE. FOR MORE SEE HERE.
By Jonathan Fields, Esq.
Tempted to record your spouse’s conversation with you or with a third party — perhaps in the hope that you’ll get some “smoking gun” evidence that will benefit you in your divorce?
In Massachusetts, we have what is known as a “two party consent” law (or, more accurately, an “all party consent” law.) See G.L. c. 272, § 99. That means that everyone being recorded needs to know they are being recorded. This is a criminal statute. That means if you violate it, you could go to jail.
Apart from the criminal liability, you likely will not be able to use the evidence in court.
So, before you hit record on your iPhone because you think your spouse is going to say something damaging, and before you install a listening device in the home, think again.
And don’t do it — it’s not worth the risk.
NOTE FROM FIELDS AND DENNIS — THIS IS PART OF A SERIES ON CYBER ISSUES AND DIVORCE. FOR MORE SEE HERE.