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 ?
Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway contentiously said in an interview Sunday the federal government had several means of spying on Trump aside from a traditional wiretap, suggesting that the Obama administration could have snooped on Trump's conversations via several electrical appliances like microwaves.
Security for Wiretap Networks Via Rank-Metric Codes, IEEE Intl Symp InfTheory.
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.
Wiretaps pull the rug out from under that strategy and leave defendants to contend with their own words.
The anti-wiretapping bill, which must now clear its final hurdle in the Lower House where Berlusconi has a wide majority, requires three judges instead of one to approve wiretapping a suspect's phone, limits the number of days for a wiretap, and requires a special authorization to listen in on pols and priests.
According to Wired: "The network allows an FBI agent in New York, for example, to remotely set up a wiretap on a cell phone based in Sacramento, California, and immediately learn the phone's location, then begin receiving conversations, text messages and voicemail pass codes in New York.
Soon after Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, proposed censuring the President for his unauthorized wiretap ping program, Democrats began tripping all over themselves as they rushed to back away from the proposal.
The roving wiretap provision, Section 206, allows investigators to conduct secret searches and obtain warrants to intercept a phone conversations or Internet traffic without limiting it to a specific phone or identifying the suspect.
Electronic monitoring (including both wiretaps and microphone installations) and physical searches are excellent, and sometimes essential, sources of information for both foreign intelligence and criminal activities.
Indeed, Al Gore's "Athenian Age" of enhanced democracy was a lot shorter-lived than the original, if it drew breath at all, and with the election fiascoes and terrorist attacks of the past two years, the Bush administration has easily drowned out pleas for online town meetings and voting, clamoring instead for roving wiretaps and encryption controls.
cards, roving wiretaps, indefinite detainment of suspects, lower burdens of proof, intensified surveillance, and much more--raise serious questions about the government's commitment to civil liberties.