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NCJ Number: 118736 Find in a Library
Title: Private Interceptions of Wire and Oral Communications Under Title III: Rethinking Congressional Intent
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Law  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1989)  Pages:181-205
Author(s): S L Sapp
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 25
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the application of the Federal Electronic Surveillance Statute Title III to private interceptions of wire and oral communications.
Abstract: Criminal prosecution and the detection of organized crime has become increasingly dependent on electronic surveillance techniques in order to produce reliable evidence. However, there is concern over the privacy rights of private citizens who make use of electronic communications and who are presumably much greater in numbers than criminals. In 1968, Congress reacted to these competing concerns by passing Title III which was to protect the privacy of wire and oral communications and delineate on a uniform basis the circumstances and conditions under which the interception may be authorized. These conditions include probable cause at a number of levels, protection of the intercepted material, and minimization of interception activity. Whether an interception is lawful depends on who does the recording and whether one of the parties to the conversation gave prior consent. The questions of when a private interception is made for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious act, and whether the prosecution of certain crimes justify an exception to Title III's blanket exclusionary rule continue to be answered on a case-by-case basis with sometimes contradictory results. 158 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Right of privacy
Index Term(s): Electronic surveillance; Telecommunications
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