While you may not realize it, everytime you use yourtelephone there is a possibility that there is someone monitoring youand listening in on your conversation. The majority of the time telephone tapping is not legal, however advances in technology aremaking it easier to spy on someone. Unfortunately it is not always easyto figure out if your phone conversations are being monitored, howeverif you discover that they are, there are some actions that can betaken. On the other hand, if you are the one looking to monitor or taperecord a telephone conversation there are some things that you mustknow regarding the legaity of this action.
There are a number of ways that telephone communications may bemonitored. The most common way to monitor conversations is through theuse of a wiretap. A wiretap is is an interception of a telephonetransmission made by accessing the telephone signal itself. If yourphone is tapped, conversations can be listened in on and recordedwithout your knowledge. Telephone wiretapping laws vary by state, butgenerally wiretapping is only legal when done by federal lawenforcement, and they have to have probable cause as well as a courtorder to perform the wiretap. While most people shouldn't be concernedabout the possibility of their phone conversations being recorded,people with important government jobs, or those involved in high stakeslegal cases may have cause for concern. If you suspect that you phonehas been tapped, there are a couple of steps you should take. First,you should contact your telephone company. Most phone companies willinspect your line for tapping devices, at no charge. If your phonecompany finds that your line has been tapped, they first will check thelegality of the tap. If you are being illegaly monitored, the phonecompany will alert you, and the next step you can take is legal action.However if your phone has been tapped by law enforcement and is legal,the phone company will not alert you to this. Only after the monitoringhas stopped is law enforcement required to notify you of the wiretap.They generally have ninety days to notify you of the monitoring. Oftentimes, people think that if they hear clicking or static on their phoneline that it is tapped, but wiretapping devices normally do not emitany sound.
If you are looking to record a telephone conversation with someone, itis very important to know the laws in your state so that you know theaction you are taking is legal. In most states, in order to record atelephone conversation, all parties must be notified that theconversation is being monitored. If you do not disclose thisinformation, you could potentially be in trouble, therefore before yourecord any conversation be sure you understand the laws.
If you are afraid of your telephone being tapped and your conversationsbeing monitored, there are devices that can be purchased to countersurveillance measures. Things such as "bug detectors", and detectionmeters with frequency counters can alert you to monitoring and spyingdevices. These devices can many times be purchased as an entire kit soyou can prevent spying but tend to be very pricey, however as with any surveillance devices it is important to know the laws in your statebecause breaking a surveillance law could potentially get you in quitea bit of trouble.
Whether you are trying to prevent spying or you are the one trying tospy on or monitor someone, it is essential to follow all rules and makesure that every task you perform is legal. Laws vary by state, so yourbest bet if you are interested in wiretapping and surveillance laws isto contact a lawyer or even a private investigator, both of whichshould be able to help you understand and apply all the rules of monitoring.