Personal Computer At Work Not Always Private

Wednesday, April 4th 2007, 6:29 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ A federal appeals court rules against an Oklahoma man who allegedly had child pornography on a personal computer he used at work. A three-judge panel from the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Tuesday ruled that former Glencoe City Treasurer Michael Barrows couldn't reasonably expect privacy for that machine.

Barrows was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison on child pornography charges.

In 2005, Barrows was sharing a work computer with the city clerk. He decided to bring in his own computer and networked it to the city computer so they could access records at the same time.

When the city computer started having problems, the clerk asked a police officer who just happened to be passing by to help her. The ruling noted that the officer found the child pornography on Barrows' computer.

The appeals court says that because Barrows used his computer in a public space, connected it to the city network, and didn't protect his computer with a password, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy.