The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) was implemented by the U.S. House of representatives to expand limitations on federal government phone calls of phonecalls that included laptop transmitters of electronic information, to introduce additional provisions prohibiting access to storage digital communications (the Stored Communications Act), and also to insert so-called pen trap rules that allow the traceability of electronic communications. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was enacted as an addition to Title III of the Omnibus Preventing Crime and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to prevent unlawful governmental access to personal electronic communications.

Electronic communications refer to any transmission of indications, signals, drafting, photographs, audio, information, or intelligence of any kind that impacts interstate or international commerce and is transferred in whole or in portion by a cable, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo optic mechanism, but excludes the following

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Verbal and written communication

A tone-only paging gadget was used to communicate.

A monitoring device’s communications (as defined in section 3117)

A financial institution’s digital funds transfer data is contained in a communication network that is utilized for the electronic storage and transmission of funds.

Although in transit, Title I of the ECPA preserves wire, oral, and digital communications. It establishes more strict conditions for search warrants than in other circumstances. The Maintained Communications Act (SCA), Title II of the ECPA governs communication secured in storage media, most prominently messages stored on the computer. Nevertheless, it has fewer safeguards than Title I and does not enforce stricter warrant requirements. Without the need for a court order, Title III makes it illegal to utilize pen registers and trap and detect gadgets to capture dialing, routing, addressing, and signaling information used in the transmission of wire or digital communications.