IRS employee convicted for wiretapping his boss with Outlook

An IRS employee was convicted for 18 months of probation for “wiretapping” his boss by using an Outlook rule to forward emails from the supervisor inbox to his own email address. The whole thing started because the employee’s driver license had been suspended for drunk driving. He was worried that this could jeopardize his job. Being curious (and anxious) about what his supervisor would say, he has apparently redirected emails using a simple Outlook rule (an automated way to process/sort emails). The supervisor stumbled into it by accident.

The weird thing is that manydo not think of this as “wiretapping” (which is usually associated with phones), so this sets an interesting precedent. The defendant argued that this was not an “interception”, given that he was getting “a copy” of the emails. However, the rule was implemented on the mail server – which makes it an “intercept”, while implementing the rule on the supervisor’s computer would have made it a “copy”. That’s why the court declared this to be an “intercept”, which falls under the wiretap law.

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