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Code Ann. § 10-402 (2006) - Interception of Communications Generally; Divulging Contents of Communications; Violations of Subtitle

Maryland - SUBTITLE 4. WIRETAPPING AND ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE
Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 10-402 (2006)


§ 10-402. Interception of communications generally; divulging contents of communications; violations of subtitle

(a) Unlawful acts. -- Except as otherwise specifically provided in this subtitle it is unlawful for any person to:

(1) Wilfully intercept, endeavor to intercept, or procure any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

(2) Wilfully disclose, or endeavor to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subtitle; or

(3) Wilfully use, or endeavor to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subtitle.

(b) Penalty. -- Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a felony and is subject to imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $ 10,000, or both.

(c) Lawful acts. --

(1) (i) It is lawful under this subtitle 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 or electronic communication to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of his employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his service or to the protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service, except that a provider of wire communications service to the public may not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.

(ii) 1. It is lawful under this subtitle for a provider of wire or electronic communication service, its officers, employees, and agents, landlords, custodians or other persons to provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to persons authorized by federal or State law to intercept wire, oral, or electronic communications or to conduct electronic surveillance, if the provider, its officers, employees, or agents, landlord, custodian, or other specified person has been provided with a court order signed by the authorizing judge directing the provision of information, facilities, or technical assistance.

2. The order shall set forth the period of time during which the provision of the information, facilities, or technical assistance is authorized and specify the information, facilities, or technical assistance required. A provider of wire or electronic communication service, its officers, employees, or agents, or landlord, custodian, or other specified person may not disclose the existence of any interception or surveillance or the device used to accomplish the interception or surveillance with respect to which the person has been furnished an order under this subparagraph, except as may otherwise be required by legal process and then only after prior notification to the judge who granted the order, if appropriate, or the State's Attorney of the county where the device was used. Any such disclosure shall render the person liable for compensatory damages. No cause of action shall lie in any court against any provider of wire or electronic communication service, its officers, employees, or agents, landlord, custodian, or other specified person for providing information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a court order under this subtitle.

(2) (i) This paragraph applies to an interception in which:

1. The investigative or law enforcement officer or other person is a party to the communication; or

2. One of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception.