wiretap


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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 ?
The phone tapping was authorized by a single wiretap order.
Wiretapper exists in system and wiretaps on intermediate nodes.
The 5th Circuit reiterated that the wiretap evidence against North should be suppressed, but only because federal agents failed to take precautions against listening to a conversation that in and of itself wasn't criminal in nature," the report said.
Charbel laid out the new centralized wiretapping process which was supposed to emphasize accountability and government oversight of wiretap operations.
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.
The move to muzzle comes despite the Italian judiciary's use of wiretaps to fight crime, especially anti-Mafia operations.
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.
Stored communications, such as those on Web sites, are not covered by the Wiretap Act.
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.