A judge recently ordered a divorcing couple to disclose their Facebook and online dating passwords, but Courtney and Stephen Gallion won't be snooping around each other's accounts: only the attorneys will get the information. It's still an unusual situation, though — courts normally require only the relevant material, not access to its source.
The order came after the husband found "useful" information on a shared computer and suspected more was online. When his attorney asked for the wife's passwords during a deposition, she complied, but then texted a friend to delete messages. Destroying evidence is against the law, so the husband's attorney asked the judge to stop her and compel both parties to disclose passwords — this would let them gather necessary information, and prevent them from deleting evidence without getting caught. It's an unusual application of a fairly standard evidentiary principle to our new ways of interacting online — and although the couple won't actually swap passwords, the Judge still ordered them not to try and impersonate each other online. New technology, same old crazy.