Email trespass case overturned

Wired is reporting that the California Supreme Court has overturned a ruling of a lower court against Ken Hamidi, a former Intel employee who sent anti- Intel emails after his dismissal in the 1990s.

Originally, Intel went to court in order to stop the email campaign by Hamidi, who was encouraging his former fellow employees to leave Intel and to join an anti-Intel group. The lower court granted Intel the order, but Hamidi, with the help of privacy advocates, appealed.

At the crux of the original ruling was a determination that the ex-employee had "misused" systems of Intel in order to send the messages to 30,000 of his former colleagues.

However, the Supreme Court rejected the lower court argument, citing the fact that the email system was used for its intended purpose and determining that the company did not have a property interest in its employees time, and therefore there was no "theft" going on.