Legal Dictionary

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Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping is secretly listening to someone while they are engaged in a private conversation with another. Wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping (e.g., accessing email, instant messages or VoIP communications) and other forms of eavesdropping (e.g., bugging) are generally illegal unless authorized by a search warrant or court order. Where done pursuant to search warrant/court order, eavesdropping is often referred to as “surveillance.”