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Konop v. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
302 F.3d 868 (2002)


Robert Konop (plaintiff) was a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (Hawaiian) (defendant). Konop maintained a website where he wrote posts critical of Hawaiian. Konop controlled access to his website by requiring visitors to log in with a user name and password. Konop also controlled who was eligible to access the site. Eligible people could enter their own names, create a password, and access the site. Konop had granted access to the website to Gene Wong, another pilot. An executive at Hawaiian asked Wong for permission to use Wong’s name to access Konop’s website. Wong agreed. Konop later received a call from the chairman of the pilots’ union. The union chairman told Konop that the president of Hawaiian had seen the website and was upset by Konop’s disparaging statements. Konop sued Hawaiian, alleging that Hawaiian viewed Konop’s website without his permission, disclosed the contents of the website, and took other actions in violation of the federal Wiretap Act, as amended by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

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