Electronic Communications Privacy Act ( Ecpa )

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The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was a pretty progressive law at the time it was enacted. It enhanced the privacy protection that was originally delineated in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 by also adding communication protection for pagers, email, cell phones, service providers, and computer transmissions. The ECPA addressed the legal privacy issues that were surfacing with the rising use of networks, computers and other new innovations in electronic communications. The first large computers had been built as early as the 1950s, with the first development of a mass-market microcomputer starting in 1977. The development of ARPANET in the late 1960s and early 1970s would eventually lead to
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The ECPA safeguards electronic, oral, and wire communications during creation, in transit, in storage and relates to electronic mail, phone conversations, and data that is stored electronically. The intended purpose of the legislation is to reassure customers that their private information will remain secure from public exposure. The ECPA includes three main provisions for communications privacy titled the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and Pen-Register Act.

Wiretap Act
The Wiretap Act has provisions that safeguard an individual’s telephonic and computer-based voice communications from being captured, used or released by another individual. This Act prohibits the listen in on and electronic bugging, the physical custody of bugging or tapping equipment, as well as the “use or disclosure of information unlawfully obtained” from the use of said equipment.” (Unknown, 2013). The Act also provides exceptions for service providers, in specific instances, and for law enforcement to perform electronic eavesdropping, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It affords processes for government entities to acquire judicial consent for obtaining such communications, and controls the usage and release of this information acquired from legal eavesdropping.

Stored Communications Act
The Stored Communications Act encompasses the rights of
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