US appeals court reinstates man’s computer monitoring case

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal judges have reinstated a Florida man’s lawsuit against the maker of a computer software product used to secretly monitor his online communications with an Ohio man’s then-wife.

A Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel voted 2-1 Tuesday to return the case to a district court to consider plaintiff Javier (HAH’-vee-ehr) Luis’ contention that Awareness Technologies Inc. violated federal wiretapping law.

His attorneys argued that the company has responsibility by actively operating the WebWatcher technology used to intercept Luis’ emails, instant messages and other electronic communications from his Tampa computer.

A message was left Tuesday for an Awareness Technologies attorney.

Dissenting Judge Alice Batchelder agreed with the lower court’s dismissal of the suit, saying the product maker wasn’t liable.

Judge Ronald Lee Gilman wrote the majority opinion.