Councillor found guilty in spyware case

Filed Under: Law & order

A councillor from Greenville County, South Carolina, who was convicted this week of spying on fellow council workers' PCs, could face up to 16 years in jail.

Tony Trout was arrested last October, after infecting PCs with the RemoteSpy program, which allowed him to break into two Yahoo email accounts used by Greenvile County Administrator Joe Kernell.

According to media reports, information stolen by Trout from the compromised email accounts on his website at www.tonytrout.com, and shared the information with other councillors and legal officials.

In his defence, Trout claimed that he was investigating Kernell as a service to the taxpaying public, believing he could be involved in illegal activity.

However, in my opinion it's hard to understand why - if he believed a crime was being committed - he did not report it to the police rather than taking the law into his own hands.

RemoteSpy

RemoteSpy, the program used by Tony Trout to spy upon his fellow council workers, is no stranger to regular readers of this blog of course. Late last year, we described how the FTC had tried to prevent the controversial program from being sold.

It's probably worth everyone remembering that just because a program may be legal to purchase, it doesn't necessarily make it legal to use in all cases. Foolishness, like that shown by Tony Trout, could easily result in a painful punishment.

Trout is scheduled to be sentenced in the next sixty days.

,

You might like

About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.