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By Brett Allan King
Feb. 12 — A Spanish court fined and sentenced a man to two years in prison for accessing a minor's social network account and sending messages “of questionable taste” to his contacts, according to a criminal court ruling made public Feb. 10.
The criminal court for Santander, Spain, fined the unidentified man 2,700 euros ($3,049) and sentenced him to two years in prison for logging into a minor's account on the major Spanish social networking service, Tuenti.
The minor, then age 15, had used the defendant's computer to access the minor's account, thereby leaving his password on the device. The defendant subsequently accessed the minor's private messages, contacts and files and took the opportunity to send several messages “of questionable taste” to the minor's friends, according to a statement by the High Court of Justice of Cantabria. Santander is within the autonomous region of Cantabria, Spain.
The court found that this unauthorized entry into the social network constituted a “crime of discovery and disclosure of secrets” as determined by Articles 197.1 and 197.6 of Spain's Penal Code, which address the interception of papers or electronic communications and actions affecting the personal data of minors.
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