Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Slain Marine's e-mail raises legal issues

Filed under
Web

Yahoo Inc. may have resolved its dispute with a family over accessing the e-mail account of a Marine killed in Iraq, but legal experts say such conflicts are bound to be more common as e-mail becomes a crucial component of our lives.

John Ellsworth sought his son's e-mails after Lance Cpl. Justin Ellsworth was killed Nov. 13 while inspecting a bomb in Iraq. But the father didn't know his son's password, and Yahoo said it couldn't break its confidentiality agreement with the Marine.

The family was granted access this week after an Oakland County probate judge ordered Yahoo to do so. Yahoo had said all along that it would comply with any such order.

Henry H. Perritt Jr., a professor and expert in cyberlaw at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, said he knows of no other case where battles over a dead person's e-mail have gone to court, but he expects to see more.

"I think that as it is now, the service providers for the most part just hand it over when they've established death and that someone is the administrator of the estate," Perritt said Thursday. "But they are really just beginning to think about this."

Other e-mail service providers, including America Online Inc., EarthLink Inc., and Microsoft Corp., which runs Hotmail, have provisions for transferring accounts upon proof of death and identity as next of kin. AOL says it gets dozens of such requests a day.

Yahoo's policy, however, states that accounts terminate at death.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

'Turbo Boost Max 3.0' and Mesa 17.2.4

  • Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Support For Skylake Fixed With Linux 4.15
    The platform-drivers-x86 updates have been sent in for Linux 4.15 and include a range of improvements for Intel hardware support. One of the bigger items is support for Skylake CPUs with Turbo Boost Max 3.0.
  • Mesa 17.2.4 Graphics Stack Lands for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 17.10 Gamers
    Canonical's Timo Aaltonen reports on the availability of the Mesa 17.2.4 open-source graphics drivers stack on the X-SWAT updates PPA for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 17.10 systems. Ubuntu systems have always lagged behind the development of the Mesa 3D Graphics Library, the Linux graphics stack containing open-source drivers for Intel, AMD Radeon, and Nvidia GPUs, but they usually catch up with it through a specially crafted PPA (Personal Package Archive) repository that can be easily installed by users.

OSS Leftovers

  • The Future of Marketing Technology Is Headed for an Open-Source Revolution
  • Edging Closer – ODS Sydney
    Despite the fact that OpenStack’s mission statement has not fundamentally changed since the inception of the project in 2010, we have found many different interpretations of the technology through the years. One of them was that OpenStack would be an all-inclusive anything-as-a-service, in a striking parallel to the many different definitions the “cloud” assumed at the time. At the OpenStack Developer Summit in Sydney, we found a project that is returning to its roots: scalable Infrastructure-as-a-Service. It turns out, that resonates well with its user base.
  • Firefox Quantum Now Available on openSUSE Tumbleweed, Linux 4.14 Coming Soon
    Users of the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system can now update their computers to the latest and greatest Firefox Quantum web browser.
  • Short Delay with WordPress 4.9
    You may have heard WordPress 4.9 is out. While this seems a good improvement over 4.8, it has a new editor that uses codemirror.  So what’s the problem? Well, inside codemirror is jshint and this has that idiotic no evil license. I think this was added in by WordPress, not codemirror itself. So basically WordPress 4.9 has a file, or actually a tiny part of a file that is non-free.  I’ll now have to delay the update of WordPress to hack that piece out, which probably means removing the javascript linter. Not ideal but that’s the way things go.

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers