I Think I’m Being Watched on Computer by Police. What to Do?

Computer SurveillanceIn response to a congressional inquiry, mobile phone companies have been forced to disclose just how many times they’ve handed over users’ cellphone data to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. It has been estimated that cellphone companies responded to 1.3 million demands for subscribers’ information last year from law enforcement. Many of the records, such as location data, don’t require search warrants or much court oversight. Both police and cell service providers had long resisted releasing details on the scope of cellphone surveillance.

In practice, your rights to protect snooping on your computer are similar to your rights in real life. Still, knowing what, when, and how others can snoop on what you’re doing is important so you can protect your information the right way. There are a few steps you can take to limit access to others.

• Log off your email. If you check your email on a public computer, it is important to log off your online account. It will limit any snoopers that come to the portal after you.
• If you are using an employer’s computer then your employer has the right to monitor what you’re doing with it. Some employers will monitor all of your conversations on your computer, including installing a keylogger on your computer. In general, your rights don’t extend too far if you’re on an employer’s computer.

• Your personal computer is protected from police searches in the exact same way as your house and body. Police cannot search your computer without a warrant specifically stating that the computer is part of the search.

• Most web services snoop on your data and, in some instances, hand it over to authorities upon request. This means that when you sign a Terms of Service you are often giving a web service access to everything you are doing on their site. In turn, the government may file a subpoena with a web service to take a look at your files,

• Public and private posts on social networks may be used against you. If you’re doing something illegal you should not post about it in a public forum because the police may very well find it with just a little snooping.

If you believe your actions are being monitored by the government, it is important to immediately stop all activity and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney that can protect your rights. If you would like to speak with attorneys Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney about the particulars of your case, we invite you to contact our firm and schedule a free initial consultation. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

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