My relationship with my wife wasn’t going well for three years. I wanted a divorce, but she wasn’t keen on one, but she was giving me hell. She did not want the divorce because she wanted to have the luxurious lifestyle I was providing her, but we slept in separate rooms, fought all the time, and I felt there was nothing left in our relationship. Then one fine day I realised she had access to information about me that she was not supposed to have. I discovered my spouse was spying on my phone and checking my messages and emails. I filed for divorce and then to my shock; I found out my wife had cloned my phone and taken all the data.
My Spouse Has Been Spying On My Phone And Cloned My Data
Now that I am over my initial shock, I want to do something about it. I cannot accept this invasion of privacy during divorce and now she is trying to use the information in court. She has cloned my phone and hard drive and got access to all my files and my emails, including emails to my lawyer? Aren’t these actions illegal and criminal? Isn’t it illegal to go through your spouse’s phone? What steps can I take against her? Please help.
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If your spouse is spying on your phone, laptop, or any other device or online account without your permission, which usually means written consent, then yes it is illegal.
It is a criminal offence
As for “taking action” you should contact the police if there is an issue. And you have said you are divorcing her, in this circumstance it is criminal.
In today’s digital age, smartphones have become a necessary appendage for many people. Smartphones are far more than phones. They hold our email, our lists of friends and family, our financial and banking information and countless other bits of data about our location, interests, schedules and habits. Contact your local police department, telephone service provider and if applicable, your lawyer once you have reason to believe your phone has been tapped or hacked.
Anyone doing this could be prosecuted
Law does provide a remedy against most of the prevalent cyber crimes. Most of the cyber crimes are listed under the Information Technology Act (IT Act), 2000, which was amended in 2008. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) could also be called in to initiate prosecution against cyber crimes or to supplement the provisions of the IT Act.
Offences like hacking, data theft, virus attacks, denial of service attacks, illegal tampering with source codes including ransomware attacks could be prosecuted under S.66 r/w S.43 of the IT Act. Cases of forging a credit or debit card or even cloning a mobile SIM with dishonest or fraudulent intent to cause wrongful loss or wrongful gain could be prosecuted under IPC provisions (S.463 to S.471 IPC, as applicable).
Additions to the IT Act in 2008 protect against identity theft (S.66C) or cheating by impersonating online (S.66D).
It is an illegal activity that can be performed by extracting the secret codes of these cards.
SIM cards were considered to be the safest part of mobile phones, but illicit activities like cloning and hacking have left a question mark over their security. It is a criminal offence to intercept phone calls unless it is done by a member of the police or intelligence agencies.
Do not become paranoid. The odds are slim that someone is hacking or tapping your phone. But by taking a few safety precautions, you can help to ensure that your privacy is protected. But if your spouse is spying on your phone and using the data to get a divorce then it is illegal.
How to report the crime
The procedure for reporting cyber crimes is more or less the same as for reporting any other kind of offence. The local police stations can be approached for filing complaints just as the cyber crime cells specially designated with the jurisdiction to register a complaint. Also, provisions have now been made for the filing of ‘E-FIR’ in most of the states. Also, the Ministry of Home Affairs is launching a website for registering crimes against women and children online, including cyber crime.
Fear and greed drive most of the cyber crimes – from the perspective of both the criminal and the user. Expeditious action by police in clear cases of cyber crime; collation of evidence in a manner that will withstand trial; and completion of court proceedings without delay with a clear understanding of the technology and the law are just some goals that the system is aiming for.
Related Reading: 10 Things To Do When You Are Thinking About Divorce
You cannot keep away from technology
Law cannot ask users to “keep away” from the use of technologies merely due to its inability to protect them. That is akin to asking women to not step out after dark. Until the legal system demonstrates robustness, even irrespective of it, users must exercise due caution in the use of technology. Adapt but do so with care and responsibility, as the virtual world requires as much warning as the real world.
Hope this helps