But this all goes back to trust. Trust in admins of this level is an imperative. Lack of that trust quickly leads to problems from either side, which would seem to be a mutual issue with the Childs case. Let's not mince words -- there's a reason that ThinkGeek sells T-shirts with "I read your email" emblazoned on the front. IT admins can read your e-mail. They can also sniff packets on the network and watch what you're doing on your computer. This access is not only normal, it's generally required for troubleshooting and normal network monitoring tasks. Of course, most admins are far too busy and far too uninterested to take advantage of this access, and they're trusted to not abuse those powers.
The same is true for other positions, such as police officers. A police officer can obtain driving records and court documents on just about anyone. Doctors and nurses can call up anyone's medical records. There may or may not be an audit trail for those actions, but the access is there. This is also the case for network and system admins. It's simply a necessity -- no more, no less.
However, Terry Childs didn't have that level of access. It's possible that he could have been sniffing packets on the network, but I would have expected that a sniffer would be in place somewhere for monitoring purposes, possibly more than one. He didn't have access to e-mail, storage, or any higher-level services on the network, however, and I'm not aware of any evidence that he ever tried to gain that level of access.
So after nearly 11 months the case remains open, Childs remains in jail, and I still believe that this is a case of internal politics gone horribly wrong.