From KNSD-TV: December 22, 2004

Yahoo! Won't Give E-Mail To Marine Casualty's Family

WIXOMMich. - The father of a Camp Pendleton Marine killed in Iraq is pleading with Yahoo! to allow him access to his son's e-mail account.

Lance Cpl. Justin Ellsworth, 29, of Mount Pleasant, Mich., was killed by a roadside bomb during a foot patrol in the Anbar province of Iraq last month. Ellsworth was a member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
John Ellsworth, John's father, said all he wants is for his family to read the young man's last words. His request has been repeatedly denied.

His family says it wants access to his e-mail account so it can "remember him in his words."

However, because they don't know the password, they can't get to it. And Yahoo! officials say the company's privacy rules prohibit them from giving it to anyone.

Some legal observers say the e-mail is part of Justin's personal property. But others say Yahoo! has a contractual obligation to protect confidentiality and privacy -- dead or alive.

Yahoo! erases the entire account if there's no activity after 90 days. Only Justin and the Internet giant know the account's password.

Last modified date and time: 01/17/2005 8:46