Initiated in November 1998, the International Space Station is a monumental project, and has served as living quarters to astronauts since the year 2000. Among the valuable scientific research that takes place on the Space Station, it is also home to the first space crime. Anne McClain has recently gained infamy for allegedly tapping into her estranged spouse’s bank account while onboard the Space Station. While no money was stolen from the account, McClain’s spouse, Summer Worden, learned of the invasion of privacy when McClain communicated with Worden about her spending habits. An investigation is currently underway.
As the first alleged crime committed in space, the matter of jurisdiction was considered unchartered territory. McClain is a citizen of the United States, and while on Earth, she is subject to law and order in the US. Currently, a judiciary system does not exist on the International Space Station. Therefore, it was determined that despite the Space Station’s element of international collaboration, the laws of the US would trump those of Canada, Japan, Russia, and the European Union.
Regardless of the location of where the incident took place, this is still a domestic dispute between legally married individuals. McClain and Worden are currently separated and have been going through a custody battle for much of this past year. In her defense, McClain claimed to only be checking the bank account for the purposes of ensuring Worden, while caring for her minor child, was in a sound position with her finances. McClain maintains innocence and is insistent that she did not perform any action out of the ordinary of what she has done in the past concerning the account, with Worden’s prior consent. Worden denounces that rationale, and instead, accuses McClain of “identity theft and improper access to [her] private financial records.” A formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission has been filed by Worden, as well as a complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General.Google+