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Cellphone Company Criticized for Turning Over Text Messages

| February 6, 2014



PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A Maine supreme court justice says a cellphone company turned over more than 50,000 text messages in a divorce case in which a protection order was in place.
Justice Donald Alexander criticized U.S. Cellular, saying it violated federal privacy law. The lawyer for the husband, who used subpoenas to get the texts from the wife and another man, was suspended for six months.

Alexander ordered the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar to alert state and federal prosecutors about of U.S. Cellular’s practices.

Alexander wrote that U.S. Cellular violated the federal Stored Communications Act. His order, signed Jan. 31, was first reported by the Bangor Daily News.

A U.S. Cellular spokeswoman said the company is looking into the matter. The sanctioned attorney didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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