wiretap


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

wiretap

n. using an electronic device to listen in on telephone lines, which is illegal unless allowed by court order based upon a showing by law enforcement of "probable cause" to believe the communications are part of criminal activities. Use of wiretap is also a wrongful act for which the party whose telephones were tapped may sue the party performing the act and/or listening in as an invasion of privacy or for theft of information. A wiretap differs from a "bug" which is a radio device secretly placed in one's premises to listen in on conversations or to tape incoming calls without notice to the caller. The same rules of illegality and tort liability apply to "bugging." (See: probable cause, invasion of privacy)

See: eavesdrop
References in periodicals archive ?
Dnevnik asked both parties what their standing was to this issue being brought in connection with the bill banning the publication of the wiretap material.
Even though a group of non-governmental organizations submitted a request for an investigation into the leaks to the attorney general in late December, as did former parliamentarian Mustapha al-Naggar, one of the public figures targeted by the wiretaps, the prosecutor has yet to open an investigation.
Dugdale, Chief of the Criminal Division, cited unspecified "new information" that the government had recently learned and stated that "the government's failure to earlier learn of this new information and the resulting shortcomings in the wiretap affidavits, when considered cumulatively, have led the government to determine it will no longer seek to rely on evidence gathered through the wiretaps.
Appellate advocacy counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Alan Butler said that the court's ruling in the case is significant because the court affirmed its previous holding that Wi-Fi communications are protected under the Wiretap Act, PC World reports.
Wiretapper exists in system and wiretaps on intermediate nodes.
Of all the splashy stories of the Galleon Group insider trading case, the role of wiretaps has the most lingering significance for in-house counsel.
Such an approach might even, paradoxically, make such secret courts, notorious for almost never rejecting wiretap applications, less inclined to defer to intelligence agencies, since instead of being asked whether they are prepared to give terror hunters the benefit of the doubt, judges will already know some of the contents of the communications for which they're being asked to authorize the release of identifying data.
Senator Bingaman's position is that the Senate should take a more active role in investigating the President's approving of wiretaps before we get to censure," spokesperson Maria Najera explained.
The legislation also restricts the government's powers, requiring a higher standard of proof for investigators to demand business records, greater judicial oversight, and increased reporting to Congress on antiterrorism operations and limits on roving wiretaps.
Practically, the "John Doe" roving wiretap allows the FBI to, hypothetically, wiretap a whole suite of offices because it believes a terrorist or spy is using one of them.
In essence, the purpose of a FISA order is to gather foreign intelligence information, (7) while the purpose of a Title III wiretap order is to gather evidence for criminal prosecution.