18 U.S.C. § 2517

Current through P.L. 116-91 (12/19/2019)
Section 2517 - Authorization for disclosure and use of intercepted wire, oral, or electronic communications
(1) Any investigative or law enforcement officer who, by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may disclose such contents to another investigative or law enforcement officer to the extent that such disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making or receiving the disclosure.
(2) Any investigative or law enforcement officer who, by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication or evidence derived therefrom may use such contents to the extent such use is appropriate to the proper performance of his official duties.
(3) Any person who has received, by any means authorized by this chapter, any information concerning a wire, oral, or electronic communication, or evidence derived therefrom intercepted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter may disclose the contents of that communication or such derivative evidence while giving testimony under oath or affirmation in any proceeding held under the authority of the United States or of any State or political subdivision thereof.
(4) No otherwise privileged wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted in accordance with, or in violation of, the provisions of this chapter shall lose its privileged character.
(5) When an investigative or law enforcement officer, while engaged in intercepting wire, oral, or electronic communications in the manner authorized herein, intercepts wire, oral, or electronic communications relating to offenses other than those specified in the order of authorization or approval, the contents thereof, and evidence derived therefrom, may be disclosed or used as provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section. Such contents and any evidence derived therefrom may be used under subsection (3) of this section when authorized or approved by a judge of competent jurisdiction where such judge finds on subsequent application that the contents were otherwise intercepted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Such application shall be made as soon as practicable.
(6) Any investigative or law enforcement officer, or attorney for the Government, who by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may disclose such contents to any other Federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense, or national security official to the extent that such contents include foreign intelligence or counterintelligence (as defined in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 ( 50 U.S.C. 401a )),1 or foreign intelligence information (as defined in subsection (19) of section 2510 of this title), to assist the official who is to receive that information in the performance of his official duties. Any Federal official who receives information pursuant to this provision may use that information only as necessary in the conduct of that person's official duties subject to any limitations on the unauthorized disclosure of such information.
(7) Any investigative or law enforcement officer, or other Federal official in carrying out official duties as such Federal official, who by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may disclose such contents or derivative evidence to a foreign investigative or law enforcement officer to the extent that such disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making or receiving the disclosure, and foreign investigative or law enforcement officers may use or disclose such contents or derivative evidence to the extent such use or disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of their official duties.
(8) Any investigative or law enforcement officer, or other Federal official in carrying out official duties as such Federal official, who by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may disclose such contents or derivative evidence to any appropriate Federal, State, local, or foreign government official to the extent that such contents or derivative evidence reveals a threat of actual or potential attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, domestic or international sabotage, domestic or international terrorism, or clandestine intelligence gathering activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by an agent of a foreign power, within the United States or elsewhere, for the purpose of preventing or responding to such a threat. Any official who receives information pursuant to this provision may use that information only as necessary in the conduct of that person's official duties subject to any limitations on the unauthorized disclosure of such information, and any State, local, or foreign official who receives information pursuant to this provision may use that information only consistent with such guidelines as the Attorney General and Director of Central Intelligence shall jointly issue.

1 See References in Text note below.

18 U.S.C. § 2517

Added Pub. L. 90-351, title III, §802, June 19, 1968, 82 Stat. 217; amended Pub. L. 91-452, title IX, §902(b), Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 947; Pub. L. 99-508, title I, §101(c)(1)(A), Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1851; Pub. L. 107-56, title II, §203(b)(1), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 280; Pub. L. 107-296, title VIII, §896, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2257.

REFERENCES IN TEXTThe National Security Act of 1947, referred to in par. (6), is act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, 61 Stat. 495, which was formerly classified principally to chapter 15 (§401 et seq.) of Title 50, War and National Defense, prior to editorial reclassification in chapter 44 (§3001 et seq.) of Title 50. Section 3 of the Act is now classified to section 3003 of Title 50. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

AMENDMENTS 2002-Pars. (7), (8). Pub. L. 107-296 added pars. (7) and (8). 2001-Par. (6). Pub. L. 107-56 added par. (6). 1986- Pub. L. 99-508 substituted "wire, oral, or electronic" for "wire or oral" in section catchline and wherever appearing in text.1970-Par. (3). Pub. L. 91-452 substituted "proceeding held under the authority of the United States or of any State or political subdivision thereof" for "criminal proceeding in any court of the United States or of any State or in any Federal or State grand jury proceeding".

CHANGE OF NAMEReference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director's capacity as the head of the intelligence community deemed to be a reference to the Director of National Intelligence. Reference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director's capacity as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency deemed to be a reference to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. See section 1081(a), (b) of Pub. L. 108-458 set out as a note under section 3001 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2002 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 107-296 effective 60 days after Nov. 25, 2002, see section 4 of Pub. L. 107-296 set out as an Effective Date note under section 101 of Title 6, Domestic Security.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1986 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 99-508 effective 90 days after Oct. 21, 1986, and, in case of conduct pursuant to court order or extension, applicable only with respect to court orders and extensions made after such date, with special rule for State authorizations of interceptions, see section 111 of Pub. L. 99-508 set out as a note under section 2510 of this title.

PROCEDURES FOR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION Pub. L. 107-56, title II, §203(c), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 280, as amended by Pub. L. 107-296, title VIII, §897(b), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2258; Pub. L. 108-458, title VI, §6501(b), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3760, provided that: "The Attorney General shall establish procedures for the disclosure of information pursuant to paragraphs (6) and (8) of section 2517 of title 18, United States Code, and Rule 6(e)(3)(D) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure [18 U.S.C. App.] that identifies a United States person, as defined in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 ( 50 U.S.C. 1801 )) [sic]."

Investigative or law enforcement officer
"Investigative or law enforcement officer" means any officer of the United States or of a State or political subdivision thereof, who is empowered by law to conduct investigations of or to make arrests for offenses enumerated in this chapter, and any attorney authorized by law to prosecute or participate in the prosecution of such offenses;
Judge of competent jurisdiction
"Judge of competent jurisdiction" means- (a) a judge of a United States district court or a United States court of appeals; and (b) a judge of any court of general criminal jurisdiction of a State who is authorized by a statute of that State to enter orders authorizing interceptions of wire, oral, or electronic communications;
State
"State" means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States;
electronic communication
"electronic communication" means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photooptical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce, but does not include- (A) any wire or oral communication; (B) any communication made through a tone-only paging device; (C) any communication from a tracking device (as defined in section 3117 of this title); or (D) electronic funds transfer information stored by a financial institution in a communications system used for the electronic storage and transfer of funds;
person
"person" means any employee, or agent of the United States or any State or political subdivision thereof, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation;