Congress of the United States

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How many titles are there in the Privacy Control Act of 1986? Explain what each of the titles covers.

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The Privacy Control Act of 1986, better known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act or ECPA, has three titles. They are:

Title I: Interception of Communications and Related Matters.

Title I is also known as the "Wiretap Act." It is divided into eleven different Sections, numbered 101 through 111. Collectively, these sections enact procedures and penalties for intercepting electronic, wire and oral communications.

Section 101 in Title I also amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, adding federal penalties for intercepting communications.

Title II: Stored Wire and Electronic Communications and Transactional Records Access.

Title II is also known as the "Stored Communications Act." It contains two sections, Section 201 and 202, both of which are quite lengthy. Together, these two sections spell out how stored communications are to be protected.

Section 201 amends Title 18 of the U.S. Code to add Chapter 121, titled "Stored Wire and Electronic Communications and Transactional Records Access." This section contains extensive detail regarding the laws for access, disclosure, backup, notice, restitution, lawsuits, remedies and counterintelligence access to telephone toll and transactional records.

Section 202 gives the date on which Title II and its amendments take effect (90 days after the Act was passed).

Title III: Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices.

Title III is the shortest of the three titles in the ECPA, but it's probably the one best known by law enforcement officers. It contains three sections, numbered 301 through 303.

Title III lays down the rules for the authorization and use of pen registers and trap and trace devices by law enforcement officers conducting investigations. Section 301 amends Title 18 of the U.S. Code to add Chapter 206, titled "Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices." Section 302 contains the effective date, while Section 303 specifically addresses parameters for interference with the operation of a satellite.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 21, 2020
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