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What is Wiretapping?

Wiretapping is the interception of telephone conversations by a listening device. Wiretapping is often used in criminal investigations, and when it is, it is usually referred to as audio surveillance. The term wiretapping comes from the use of electronic devices used to eavesdrop on forms of communication, usually done on private conversations. When a conversation is intercepted over non-telephone forms of communication, it is called 'bugging'. Usually installing a wiretap does not require a person to enter the building that is being wiretapped. Instead a device can be attached to the wire in a different location. Wiretapping can tap regular telephone landlines and cellphones. Many states are now passing laws to restrict wiretapping more than what federal law permits.

What are the methods of wiretapping a regular land line and/or phone?
There are many possible ways to wiretap. One of the simplest ways to do this is to attach another phone to the line outside of the house. The conversation will be intercepted and be heard by the wiretapper. The wiretapper may disconnect the microphone in their handset in order to not be detected by those who are being wiretapped because if they did not they could hear the wiretapper breathing. The difficulties for the wiretapper to do this type is that the wiretapper has to be at the phone, it is hard to know when someone will make a call on there phone and it is harder to conceal the phone used to wiretap. Another way to wiretap is to attach a recorder to the phone line. This can be done on a cassette, but they only have so much time and the wiretapper doesn’t know when the time will be up. To cut down on the time, the wiretapper can use a recorder that is voice activated. This still uses time up quickly, but accomplishes the job. The best way to wiretap a usual phone is to bug it. This can easily be done in the handset (or at other easy wire places like the jack) by rerouting the wires through the bug. The bug gets the information through the fluctuating sound waves of the electrical current in the wire. The bug transmits this information through radio waves by using a radio transmitter in the bug. To collect this information, the wiretapper has to set up a radio receiver near by and then they can record and/or let it play out loud. The set up can be in a van outside the wiretapped house. This type of wiretap eliminates the problems of the other types of wiretaps, but the wiretapper has to stay with the station to get the information. It is hard to detect being bugged, but if someone suspects they are being bugged, they would look in the obvious places such as in the handset and around the phone jack. All of the above is completely illegal for an unauthorized civilian to do. These are the methods of wiretapping a regular land line and/or phone.

A bug can also have a microphone, so it can hear conversations in the area, but this doesn’t pertain to wiretapping.

What is the NSA?

The NSA or National Security Agency is a crypto-logic organization. The National Security Agency was founded in November of 1952 by President Truman. The National Security Agency was originally part of the Armed Forces Security Agency, but because of efficiency was split into two agencies. The first NSA cryptographers were William and Elizabeth Friedman, Frank Rowlett, Agnes M. Driscoll, and Herbert O. Yardley. One of the NSA's best programs is called SIGINT. It intercepts terrorist threats and provides information to military leaders. Project SIGINT is a signals intelligence program that started during World War II, and helped the United States to break Japan's military code.

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