Cyber spying charges advance

A former Tredyffrin Township man accused of cyber spying on his estranged wife waived his preliminary hearing this morning;  charges of  unlawful use of a computer and related offenses against Jay A. Ciccarone, 39, now of Pottstown, will advance to Chester County Court.

Police, who charged Ciccarone in September, said he installed "Web Watcher," a spyware package, on his wife's computer. Police said the investigation began a year ago when the woman, who was in the midst of divorce proceedings with Ciccarone, contacted police because Ciccarone appeared to be monitoring her daily activities.

A forensic examination of the woman's computer revealed the presence of the spying program, which "works by recording all manner of activity on the computer, including keystroke logging, capturing e-mail and Internet activity," the criminal complaint said. The complaint said the program "is designed to be completely 'stealthed,' meaning it is automatically hidden from everyone except the people authorized to see it." Police confirmed that Ciccarone purchased the program from a California company.

Ciccarone, who previously worked in sales for Philly.com, has been free after posting $75,000 cash bail. He filed for divorce in April 2010, a proceeding that has not yet been finalized, according to court records.

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