Wiretaps And The Fourth Amendment

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In 1928, the United States Supreme Court approved the practice of wiretapping for the police and other government officials, though some states have banned it. (Harris, 2017) Wiretapping is regulated by both the state and federal governments and, if illegal, can be punished by criminal sanctions. When an officer observes unusual conduct which leads to reasonably to conclude that criminal activity may be afoot, the officer may make reasonable inquiries aimed at confirming or dispelling the officer's suspicions. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Katz v. the United States, to revise the Fourth Amendment “unreasonable searches and seizures,” to cover electronic wiretaps. (Iannacci, 2015) Charles Katz a handicap basketball player conducting illegal gambling bets using three outside telephone booth (pay phones) nearby his residence to place and receive bets from gamblers. The FBI caught onto Katz’s operation, so they decided to bug the telephone booths pending investigation using the wiretaps. Katz was later detained for recorded conversations of conducting an organized illegal gambling operation. Katz defense was that the FBI surveillance on the phone booths was unconstitutional. Katz argued that his Fourth Amendment had been violated because the phone booth was made of glass, leaving him visible to the outside world with an uninvited ear should be protected under the Fourth Amendment because it’s a way of private communication. However, the clause that applies to all
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