Definition

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is a United States federal statute that prohibits a third party from intercepting or disclosing communications without authorization. The Act, which was originally passed as an amendment to the Wiretap Act of 1968, applies to both government employees and private citizens. It protects communications in storage as well as in transit.

The ECPA was amended by the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in 1994, by the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001 and by the USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization acts in 2006.

This was last updated in March 2009

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