Table of Contents Introduction 3 Development of Wiretapping 3 How is it Useful? 4 Where are we headed? 5 Where Do We Stand Now Though? 5
Technology is used for a wide variety of things on today’s society and has changed how we live our lives in many ways. Some technological advances are for the better and some for worse, some both. One example is wiretapping, a very controversial issue of today.
Development of Wiretapping
Since the use of telegraphs and the invention of the telephone, wiretapping has been a concern. When use of the modern telephone became widespread, so did wiretapping. Soon it became illegal for any person to listen to a private conversation without consent. In fact, it is even illegal to record your own phone conversation if the person on the other end is not aware that you're recording it (Harris).
“The vulnerability of telephone calls is the vulnerability of something that did not exist before the late 1800s. Unfortunately, holding a conversation face to face is not the guarantee of privacy it once was. The same electronic technologies that have made telecommunication possible have also given us a wide range of listening devices that make finding a private place to talk difficult indeed. Technology has changed the rules for the old game as well as for the new.”
In 1928 the Supreme Court made it legal for government and police agencies to use wiretapping. At this time though the use of wiretapping was on a voluntary basis from the phone companies, often making it hard for the government to receive cooperation. Until October of 1994, when President Clinton signed the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act into law. This required all phone companies and telecommunication services to develop a standard wiretapping system, allowing the government and law enforcement agencies to wiretap any phone easily
Bibliography: Diffie, Whitfield. Privacy on the Line. Cambridge: The Mitt Press, 2007.