I was put on unpaid 2 week leave with no prior problems in my work after I changed a name on a blog page temporarily without permission. I changed the name just to see if the name was taken by someone else and changed it back to the original shortly there after. I wrote an email asking if we could change the name and gave some options of what was available. This was after some space was given for a new blogger and the name was no longer appropriate for the space. I thought of it as something minor, but was almost fired for it. Then I went into my email because there were a lot of loose ends and noticed the whole email correspondence had been erased and a bunch of my other emails had been emailed to my boss.The emails were quite crazy by the way. Then I was blocked out of my email without any notice given. I work online. I called one of the women in charge and she yelled at me and told me some stuff they said I had done in the past that was never communicated to me and was all stacked up against me. I am confused here, is this ok for an employer to do? I have worked for them for three years with no problems up until now.
In general, if the email is on the corporate email system, then it is their email, and they do have legitimate access to it.
However, at least in the UK, and probably much of Europe, if you can establish that you had a reasonable right to privacy on your email (e.g. Company allowed personal use), then they have to be able to establish a good business reason for why they needed to go through your email history in detail.
If you can establish that they accessed a non work owned system that for your convenience was set up on your work computer, such as gmail, Skype etc, then they have overstepped the mark. That is a criminal offence and they should be paying you a generous settlement.