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§ 626A.02 (2005) - Interception and Disclosure of Wire or Oral Communications Prohibited

Minnesota - Criminal Procedure
CHAPTER 626A PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATIONS
Minn. Stat. § 626A.02 (2005)


626A.02 Interception and disclosure of wire or oral communications prohibited

Subdivision 1. Offenses. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter any person who

(a) intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, electronic, or oral communication;

(b) intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when

(i) such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or

(ii) such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication;

(c) intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic, or oral communication in violation of this subdivision; or

(d) intentionally uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic, or oral communication in violation of this subdivision; shall be punished as provided in subdivision 4, or shall be subject to suit as provided in subdivision 5.

Subd. 2. Exemptions. (a) It is not unlawful under this chapter for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of a provider of wire or electronic communication service, whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire communication, to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or to the protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service, except that a provider of wire communication service to the public shall not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.

(b) It is not unlawful under this chapter for an officer, employee, or agent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the normal course of employment and in discharge of the monitoring responsibilities exercised by the commission in the enforcement of chapter 5 of title 47 of the United States Code, to intercept a wire or electronic communication, or oral communication transmitted by radio, or to disclose or use the information thereby obtained.

(c) It is not unlawful under this chapter for a person acting under color of law to intercept a wire, electronic, or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception.

(d) It is not unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, electronic, or oral 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.

(e) It is not a violation of this chapter for a person:

(1) to intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that the electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public;

(2) to intercept any radio communication that is transmitted:

(i) by a station for the use of the general public, or that relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress;

(ii) by a governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safety communications system, including police and fire, readily accessible to the general public;

(iii) by a station operating on an authorized frequency within the bands allocated to the amateur, citizens band, or general mobile radio services; or

(iv) by a marine or aeronautical communications system;

(3) to engage in any conduct which:

(i) is prohibited by section 553 of title 47 of the United States Code; or

(ii) is excepted from the application of section 605(a) of title 47 of the United States Code by section 605(b) of that title;

(4) to intercept a wire or electronic communication the transmission of which is causing harmful interference to any lawfully operating station or consumer electronic equipment, to the extent necessary to identify the source of such interference; or

(5) for other users of the same frequency to intercept any radio communication made through a system that utilizes frequencies monitored by individuals engaged in the provision or the use of such system, if the communication is not scrambled or encrypted.

(f) It is not unlawful under this chapter:

(1) to use a pen register or a trap and trace device as those terms are defined by section 626A.39; or

(2) for a provider of electronic communication service to record the fact that a wire or electronic communication was initiated or completed in order to protect the provider, another provider furnishing service toward the completion of the wire or electronic communication, or a user of that service, from fraudulent, unlawful, or abusive use of the service.

(g) It is not unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept the radio portion of a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit if the initial interception of the communication was obtained inadvertently.