0

Say that someone knew a person of interest's full name and made a request to obtain certain information using someone's name who has permission/legal rights to view that material, and addressed that the info was sent to a specific address from which returned mail could be obtained by the poser. Given that this isn't identity theft and sending snail mail under another person's name to OR from 2 disclosed locations is legal, could the fact that the information is being read by someone unauthorized make it an illegal act itself? I ask because this is something hardly considered in law.

North American law in particular, specifically Anglophone laws for the most part.

I am certain that sending a request under someone else's name isn't illegal because millions of people do it all the time and it's the reason why people find unexpected bills and subscriptions from which they never recall signing up for. Also, if such a thing were illegal, it's unlikely anyone could prove it.

But this is besides the point.

  • 1
    "I am certain that sending a request under someone else's name isn't illegal because millions of people do it all the time:" Speeding is illegal, yet everyone speeds. "and it's the reason why people find unexpected bills and subscriptions from which they never recall signing up for:" If someone actually signs up for a service and puts a different name so that someone else gets the bill, that's a crime. – cpast Feb 12 '16 at 2:19
  • Telling you my name is user662852 isn't illegal. Presenting something I purport to be an official driver's license or passport that states my name is user662852 would be fraud and forgery. – user662852 Feb 12 '16 at 3:26
  • Clearly all of the scheme is illegal. Pretending to be someone else is illegal, opening mail that is addressed to that person is illegal... – jcaron Feb 12 '16 at 11:02
  • If the material is considered sensitive, as part of the request you are usually required to somehow indicate that you are authorized to receive the material. At that point you would be committing fraud by filling out the form posing as someone authorized to view the material when in fact you aren't. – ColleenV parted ways Feb 12 '16 at 18:04
4

18 USC Sec 1702:

Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package out of any post office or any authorized depository for mail matter, or from any letter or mail carrier, or which has been in any post office or authorized depository, or in the custody of any letter or mail carrier, before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to obstruct the correspondence, or to pry into the business or secrets of another, or opens, secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.