• Mom charged with hacking into son’s Facebook account

    Date: 06.10.10 | by Judge Tom.

    Lane New is a 16 year-old boy who lives with his grandmother. While visiting his mother, Denise New, he used her computer but forgot to log off. Denise went on her son’s Facebook page and read his posts. Disapproving of some of his messages, she changed his password and posted her own comments.

    Denise New KATV Arkansas

    Apparently Lane talked about being upset with a girl and driving 95 mph on his way home.  Other posts bothered her but she didn’t eleborate. Denise admitted making three or four comments, explaininig that “You’re within your legal rights to monitor your child and to have a conversation with your child on Facebook.”  One of her comments was along the lines of having a child was one of her biggest regrets in life.

    Lane was so upset about his mother’s behavior that he wrote a letter to the local prosecuter.  He stated that “Denise first hacked my Facebook and changed my password.  She also change the password to my e-mail so I could not change it.  She posted things that involve slander and personal facts about my life.”

    In March, 2010, Denise New was charged with harassment.  Arkansas law defines harassment as engaging in conduct that alarms or seriously annoys another person.  Denise plans to fight the charge saying that otherwise it’s going to be open season on parents who try to keep their children in line.

    Do you have privacy rights as a minor regarding your parents?  Shouldn’t they be allowed to monitor your Facebook or MySpace account in order to guide and protect you?  What do you think will happen in this case?

    Update:  In May, 2010, Denise was found guilty of harassment, a misdemeanor.  She was sentenced to a suspended 30 days in jail, probation for one year, a fine and ordered to attend anger management and parenting classes.  If she fails any of her terms she’ll have to serve the 30 days.  She was also ordered to have no contact with her son, Lane.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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