It is trickier every day to define what exactly is communication, what can be intercepted by others, and who is allowed to do it. Here’s a bit of statement on it, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence: 

“It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State.”

Going forward, in next five articles, we’ll take a look at Texas and its laws. In this case, y’all, let’s start with some common legal terminology:

Aggrieved person

a person who was a party to an intercepted wire, oral, or electronic communication or a person against whom the interception was directed.

Aural transfer

a transfer containing the human voice at any point between and including the point of origin and the point of reception.

Communication common carrier

a person engaged as a common carrier for hire in the transmission of wire or electronic communications.

Computer trespasser

a person who accesses a protected computer without effective consent of the owner and has no reasonable expectation of privacy in a communication transmitted to, through, or from the protected computer.  The term does not include a person who accesses the protected computer under an existing contractual relationship with the owner or operator of the computer.


with respect to a wire, oral, or electronic communication, includes any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communication.

Covert entry

an entry that is made into or onto premises and that, if not authorized by a court order would violate the Penal Code.

Electronic communication

a transfer of any signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence transmitted wholly or partly by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.  The term does not include: a wire or oral communication; a communication made through a tone-only paging device; or a communication from a tracking device.

Electronic communications service 

a service that provides to users of the service the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications.

Electronic storage

storage of electronic customer data in a computer, computer network, or computer system, regardless of whether the data is subject to recall, further manipulation, deletion, or transmission.  The term includes storage of a wire or electronic communication by an electronic communications service or a remote computing service.

ESN reader

a device that, without intercepting the contents of a communication, records the electronic serial number from the data track of a wireless telephone, cellular telephone, or similar communication device that transmits its operational status to a base site.

Pen register

a device or process that records or decodes dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information transmitted by an instrument or facility from which a wire or electronic communication is transmitted, if the information does not include the contents of the communication.  The term does not include a device used by a provider or customer of a wire or electronic communications service in the ordinary course of the service provider’s or customer’s business for purposes of:

– billing or recording incident to billing for communications services; or

– cost accounting, security control, or other ordinary business purposes.


means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of a wire, oral, or electronic communication through the use of an interception device.

As always, the best option is to contact Atlas Bail and go over available info and all the details. With our experience, knowledge and great customer service, we can have your loved ones back to you as soon as the law will allow us. From the moment you show up in our office we understand your need for guidance and help. The fact that a person is in jail is only the beginning of the process. Selecting AAA Atlas Bail is an important first step. With years of experience in our office, we most definitely will have the right answer for you.

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