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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136616 Find in a Library
Title: Wrong Number: Disconnecting the Cordless Telephone From the Right to Privacy
Journal: Criminal Justice Journal  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:101-114
Author(s): L S Robinson
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 14
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of Tyler v. Berodt in which conversations of a criminal nature, conducted over a cordless telephone, were surreptitiously recorded by a neighbor using another cordless telephone. The suit in which this decision was made alleged violations of the fourth and fourteenth amendments, Federal wiretap laws, and the Communications Act.
Abstract: To date, the courts have been consistent in holding that cordless telephone conversations lie outside the protection of the fourteenth amendment and its exclusionary rule; therefore, unauthorized recordings of such conversations can indiscriminately be admitted as evidence in trial proceedings. In addition, the interception of cordless telephone communications do not fall under the purview of Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act which protects wire communications and oral communications against warrantless electronic surveillance. This article reviews the congressional and judicial history of Title III and the fourth amendment as they relate to electronic surveillance. The author discusses recent limitations placed on Title III's definitions and how this affects the rights of cordless telephone users. The article examines different perspectives on what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy and recommends solutions for promoting consistency in applying constitutional protection to telephone communications. 56 notes
Main Term(s): Electronic surveillance; Telephone communications
Index Term(s): Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act; Right of privacy; Rules of evidence; US Supreme Court decisions
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