As used in this chapter-
1 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.
18 U.S.C. § 2510
REFERENCES IN TEXTSection 3 of the Communications Act of 1934, referred to in par. (10), is classified to sectionof Title 47, Telecommunications.
AMENDMENTS2002-Par. (10). Pub. L. 107-273 substituted "has the meaning given that term in section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934;" for "shall have the same meaning which is given the term 'common carrier' by sectionof title 47 of the United States Code;".2001-Par. (1). Pub. L. 107-56, §209(1)(A), struck out "and such term includes any electronic storage of such communication" before semicolon at end. Par. (14). Pub. L. 107-56, §209(1)(B), inserted "wire or" after "transmission of".Par. (19). Pub. L. 107-108 inserted ", for purposes of section of this title," before "means" in introductory provisions. Pub. L. 107-56, §203(b)(2), added par. (19).Pars. (20), (21). Pub. L. 107-56, §217(1), added pars. (20) and (21). 1996-Par. (12)(D). Pub. L. 104-132, §731(1), added subpar. (D).Par. (16)(F). Pub. L. 104-132, §731(2), struck out subpar. (F) which read as follows: "an electronic communication;".1994-Par. (1). Pub. L. 103-414, §202(a)(1), struck out before semicolon at end ", but such term does not include the radio portion of a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit".Par. (12). Pub. L. 103-414, §202(a)(2), redesignated subpars. (B) to (D) as (A) to (C), respectively, and struck out former subpar. (A) which read as follows: "the radio portion of a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit;".Par. (16)(F). Pub. L. 103-414, §203, added subpar. (F).1986-Par. (1). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(a)(1), substituted "any aural transfer" for "any communication", inserted "(including the use of such connection in a switching station)" after "reception", struck out "as a common carrier" after "person engaged", and inserted "or communications affecting interstate or foreign commerce and such term includes any electronic storage of such communication, but such term does not include the radio portion of a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit" before the semicolon at end.Par. (2). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(a)(2), inserted ", but such term does not include any electronic communication" before the semicolon at end. Par. (4). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(a)(3), inserted "or other" after "aural" and ", electronic," after "wire". Par. (5). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(a)(4), (c) (1)(A), (4), substituted "wire, oral, or electronic" for "wire or oral" in introductory provisions, substituted "provider of wire or electronic communication service" for "communications common carrier" in subpars. (a)(i) and (ii), and inserted "or furnished by such subscriber or user for connection to the facilities of such service and used in the ordinary course of its business" before the semicolon in subpar. (a)(i).Par. (8). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(a)(5), (c) (1)(A), substituted "wire, oral, or electronic" for "wire or oral" and struck out "identity of the parties to such communication or the existence," after "concerning the". Pars. (9)(b), (11). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(c)(1)(A), substituted "wire, oral, or electronic" for "wire or oral". Pars. (12) to (18). Pub. L. 99-508, §101(a)(6), added pars. (12) to (18).
TERMINATION DATE OF 2001 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 107-56, title II, §224, Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 295, as amended by Pub. L. 109-160, §1, Dec. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2957; Pub. L. 109-170, §1, Feb. 3, 2006, 120 Stat. 3, which provided that title II of Pub. L. 107-56 and the amendments made by that title would cease to have effect on Mar. 10, 2006, with certain exceptions, was repealed by Pub. L. 109-177, title I, §102(a), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 194.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1986 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 99-508, title I, §111, Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1859, provided that:"(a) IN GENERAL.-Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c), this title and the amendments made by this title [enacting sectionsand of this title, amending this section and sections , to , and to of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] shall take effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1986] and shall, in the case of conduct pursuant to a court order or extension, apply only with respect to court orders or extensions made after this title takes effect."(b) SPECIAL RULE FOR STATE AUTHORIZATIONS OF INTERCEPTIONS.-Any interception pursuant to section of title 18 of the United States Code which would be valid and lawful without regard to the amendments made by this title shall be valid and lawful notwithstanding such amendments if such interception occurs during the period beginning on the date such amendments take effect and ending on the earlier of-"(1) the day before the date of the taking effect of State law conforming the applicable State statute with chapter 119 of title 18, United States Code, as so amended; or"(2) the date two years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1986]."(c) EFFECTIVE DATE FOR CERTAIN APPROVALS BY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS.-Section 104 of this Act [amending section of this title] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1986]."
SHORT TITLE OF 1997 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 105-112, §1, Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2273, provided that: "This Act [amending sectionof this title] may be cited as the 'Law Enforcement Technology Advertisement Clarification Act of 1997'."
SHORT TITLE OF 1986 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 99-508, §1, Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1848, provided that: "This Act [enacting sections, , to , , and to of this title, amending sections , to , and to of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and sections and of this title] may be cited as the 'Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986'."
INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIESPub. L. 99-508, title I, §107, Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1858, provided that:"(a) IN GENERAL.-Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act [see Short Title of 1986 Amendment note above] constitutes authority for the conduct of any intelligence activity."(b) CERTAIN ACTIVITIES UNDER PROCEDURES APPROVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.-Nothing in chapter 119 or chapter 121 of title 18, United States Code, shall affect the conduct, by officers or employees of the United States Government in accordance with other applicable Federal law, under procedures approved by the Attorney General of activities intended to-"(1) intercept encrypted or other official communications of United States executive branch entities or United States Government contractors for communications security purposes;"(2) intercept radio communications transmitted between or among foreign powers or agents of a foreign power as defined by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 [et seq.]; or "(3) access an electronic communication system used exclusively by a foreign power or agent of a foreign power as defined by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978."
CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGSPub. L. 90-351, title III, §801, June 19, 1968, 82 Stat. 211, provided that: "On the basis of its own investigations and of published studies, the Congress makes the following findings: "(a) Wire communications are normally conducted through the use of facilities which form part of an interstate network. The same facilities are used for interstate and intrastate communications. There has been extensive wiretapping carried on without legal sanctions, and without the consent of any of the parties to the conversation. Electronic, mechanical, and other intercepting devices are being used to overhear oral conversations made in private, without the consent of any of the parties to such communications. The contents of these communications and evidence derived therefrom are being used by public and private parties as evidence in court and administrative proceedings, and by persons whose activities affect interstate commerce. The possession, manufacture, distribution, advertising, and use of these devices are facilitated by interstate commerce."(b) In order to protect effectively the privacy of wire and oral communications, to protect the integrity of court and administrative proceedings, and to prevent the obstruction of interstate commerce, it is necessary for Congress to define on a uniform basis the circumstances and conditions under which the interception of wire and oral communications may be authorized, to prohibit any unauthorized interception of such communications, and the use of the contents thereof in evidence in courts and administrative proceedings."(c) Organized criminals make extensive use of wire and oral communications in their criminal activities. The interception of such communications to obtain evidence of the commission of crimes or to prevent their commission is an indispensable aid to law enforcement and the administration of justice."(d) To safeguard the privacy of innocent persons, the interception of wire or oral communications where none of the parties to the communication has consented to the interception should be allowed only when authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction and should remain under the control and supervision of the authorizing court. Interception of wire and oral communications should further be limited to certain major types of offenses and specific categories of crime with assurances that the interception is justified and that the information obtained thereby will not be misused."
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE REVIEW OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS RELATING TO WIRETAPPING AND ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCEPub. L. 90-351, title III, §804, June 19, 1968, 82 Stat. 223, as amended by Pub. L. 91-452, title XII, §1212, Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 961; Pub. L. 91-644, title VI, §20, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1892; Pub. L. 93-609, §§1-4, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1972, 1973; Pub. L. 94-176, Dec. 23, 1975, 89 Stat. 1031, established a National Commission for the Review of Federal and State Laws Relating to Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance, provided for its membership, Chairman, powers and functions, compensation and allowances, required the Commission to study and review the operation of the provisions of this chapter to determine their effectiveness and to submit interim reports and a final report to the President and to the Congress of its findings and recommendations on or before Apr. 30, 1976, and also provided for its termination sixty days after submission of the final report.