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Electronic Communication Privacy Act

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) was enacted by the United States Congress to extend government restrictions on wire taps from telephone calls to include transmissions of electronic data by computer.  Specifically, ECPA was an amendment to Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the Wiretap Statute), which was primarily designed to prevent unauthorized government access to private electronic communications. The ECPA also added new provisions prohibiting access to stored electronic communications.  The ECPA also included provisions that permit the tracing of telephone communications.  Later, the ECPA was amended, and weakened to some extent, by some provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

Inside Electronic Communication Privacy Act