Robert Konop sued his employer Hawaiian Airlines, alleging that management improperly accessed his secure website in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986; Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C.S. sec. 2510-2520, and the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C.S. sec. 2701-2710. Furthermore Konop alleged that defendant engaged in unfair labor practices against him in violation of the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C.S. sec. 151-188, by threatening him with a defamation suit and disclosing information from his website to rival union leadership. The district court dismissed the claims on summary judgment. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the summary judgments. It found that Konop raised material issues of fact regarding the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and the Railway Labor Act claims by alleging that Hawaiian Airlines accessed plaintiff's website under false pretenses, disclosed its contents, and threatened a defamation suit based on statements on the site.
Article at http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-4412743.html
Opinion at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=9th&navby=case&no=9955106&exact=1
Withdrawal Order at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/9955106p.pdf
Keywords: defamation, free speech, privacy