*This section of the law initially prohibited interception of telephone or face-to-face conversations but was updated by Title I of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act in 1986 to include electronic communication. Law enforcement and other government agencies are not exempt from this ruling, although they are authorized to conduct wiretaps provided that they have obtained warrants for that purpose. Title III also regulates the disclosure and use of the information gained through wiretapping. The ECPA also authorizes the use of a pen register to detect the number being dialed on an outgoing call and a trap and trace device to show the number of a caller on an incoming call. (Quinn. 2013).
Valerie Caproni was general counsel for the FBI in 2011. The present general counsel of the FBI, since January, 2014, is James Baker.
USA Patriot is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (US Dept. of Justice).A National Security Letter from the FBI states that certain records are related to an ongoing investigation.
The graph represents the results of a Gallup Poll dated March 2, 2004 based on the question above.
Us legislation authorizing wiretapping
US Legislation Authorizing
Wiretapping was declared
a felony in the state of
New York from 1892,
when the telephone was
still a novelty. In 1928 the
Supreme Court ruled in
Olmstead v.United States
that wiretapping was not a
violation of the Fourth
Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets
“The Wiretap Act”.
•prohibits the unauthorized, nonconsensual
interception of "wire, or oral communications" by
government agencies as well as private parties,*
•establishes procedures for obtaining warrants to
authorize wiretapping by government officials, and
•regulates the disclosure and use of authorized
intercepted communications by investigative and
law enforcement officers. (Dept. of Justice. 2013).
Electronic Communications Privacy Act 1986
The ECPA has three Titles:
1. Title I is an extension of the Wiretap Act. It prohibits the interception of
electronic messages or any material that is stored electronically, except by
a law enforcement agency with a warrant, and restricts the use of any
evidence collected this way to the arrest and trial of persons believed to
have committed certain specified types of crimes.
2. Title II, the Stored Communications Act, protects the privacy of
communications stored with service providers (emails) and the personal
details of subscribers stored by the providers.
3. Title III, prohibits the use of pen registers or trap and trace devices without
a court order.
The USA PATRIOT Act
The Patriot Act was enacted by Congress shortly after the terrorist attacks
on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The
law provided law enforcement agencies with the authority to:
•Use advanced electronic surveillance strategies, including roving
wiretaps for surveillance when following suspects in any part of the world
who were thought to be a threat to the United States
•Share information with all government agencies to prevent money
laundering and facilitate speedy apprehension of certain types of criminals
•Increase the penalties and eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes
•Strengthen border security by making entry to the United States difficult
•Allowing the FBI to demand records that used to be confidential, using
National Security Letters.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Americans’ Response to the Patriot Act
The First Amendment
Based on what you have read or heard, do
you think the Patriot Act goes too far, is
about right, or does not go far enough in
restricting people's civil liberties in order to
Cuellar, J. (n.d.). The Complication Legality of Voice Recording in
2013. In VersaDial. com. Retrieved February 14, 2014,
Hamm, R. F. (2010). Olmstead vs. United States: the constitutional
challenges of prohibition enforcement. . In Federal
Judicial Council.gov.. Retrieved February 14, 2014, from
Saad, L. (2004, March 2). Americans generally comfortable with
Patriot Act: Few believe it goes too far in restricting civil
liberties. In Gallup News Servicer. Retrieved February 14,
Quinn, M. (2013). Ethics for the information age (5th ed., pp. 276287). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.