I am asking this question because of a situation that arose last year in relation to my wife's personal email account. She had been chatting to a friend and colleague (A) about the activities of another member of staff (B) in her office and had made a comment with humorous intent (not derogatory) about the individual. A few days later the content of the email was apparently "leaked" to the MD by her line manager and although no disciplinary action was felt necessary, it caused her acute embarrassment. She spoke to the recipient (A) of the email who denied absolutely that she had been responsible for the leak, but this led to A in turn asking one of the IT engineers to check on access to her email account. The IT engineer was able to find out that the individual (B) mentioned in the email had illegally accessed the email account and was able to show when it had happened and which PC in the office that she had used to make a printout of the email. She then recollected that while in a meeting with the B mentioned in the email, she had been called away and had left her in the office and had left her diary on her desk. This diary (foolishly) contained her email password (among others), and it was felt most likely that the B had found the password and had used it to access A's email account. When this was brought to the attention of the IT manager his action was to delete all evidence of the illegal access under the guise of "routine housekeeping"and the IT engineer who had done the detective work was threatened with dismissal if he made any further mention of the issue. My question is "Was any of this illegal, and if so, what action(s) was/were illegal?