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The novel legal issue of how to characterize e-mail communication arose in a recent criminal case in Washington's Spokane County.
Despite his mother's pleas, the teenager was put on a waiting list. When pressed by police, the boy would finally concede, reluctantly and only after changing his story several times, that it was his best friend, Mark, who had stabbed him, though John said he had no idea why.
(These are not their real names.)"I love you, bro," Mark told his younger friend as he plunged in the knife."Mark did it once, stood up, holding me, did it again," the victim told police. People will hear, please be quiet," the older teenager told him."You've killed me!
That decision, which appears to be the first of its kind, represents a bad precedent for online privacy, some legal experts say.
But others argue that e-mail messages by their nature are forwarded and stored on a recipient's computer, so e-mail users automatically agree to the recording of their messages when they choose the medium.
It was from this injury that the teenager almost died on the operating table—twice, police tell me.