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The Government and Phone Taps

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Phone taps are an almost essential part of nearly any
investigation. They are very common, and when someone other than
the government does a tap on your line, you can usually find it.
This is because non-government phone taps usually require some
sort of device to be physically present on the scene, or not far
from the scene. Because these devices usually involve some sort
of a transmitter, you can sweep for phone bugs in order to make
sure your home is safe. Government phone taps, however, are
different. Nothing is physically present at your home. There are
no transmitters. Some may use a down the line tap, but for the
most part, government taps are done at the phone company. They
are allowed into the switchboard and can actually tap your phone
right at the source of your service. This is true not only for
more traditional phone setups, but also for cell phones. Your
cell phone can be tapped simply by going to the service provider
and getting access to the line of communication that way. Phone
taps are very helpful to the government, as it allows it to
listen in for information that might support a case or to help
during an investigation. However, technically a warrant must be
issued for a phone tap before the government can breach your
privacy in such a manner. There has to be probable cause that
you are involved in some illegal doings in order for your phone
to be tapped. However, once your phone is tapped there is no way
for you to know until you are arrested (and if you are not, you
may never know that your phone was tapped). There is no
detection available for government phone taps, no matter what
anyone tells you. Sometimes mistakes are made during government
phone taps. The investigators may tap into the wrong the line.
This means that they could be listening in where they do not
have a warrant. In such cases, the government is not supposed to
be able to use information gained as evidence. They have to go
back and get a new warrant, and they have to discard whatever
they got from the illicit phone tap. However, the information
might be used to open a new investigation. So, while you have
some protections, it is important to realize that, for the most
part, there really isn’t much you can do when it comes to
government phone taps. (c) 2005 Copyright
This article is about: Phone Taps.


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  • Posted On June 1, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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