Overview on Electronic Tracking Devices
Electronic Tracking Device, referred to as ETD, is often called Global Positioning Systems. However when used in the wrong way [tracking people], they become electronic tracking devices. As technology advances, every person’s right to privacy must be protected from those who wish to use technology wrongfully. This is just one small area of where identity theft can occur. These devices allow for repeated tracking of an individual or other words “stalking.” Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 cited as 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2522 [hereafter referred to as the “Act.”] is the federal statute that provides the authority for an individual to file suit on those who illegally “track” another.
History of Act:
The Act is often referred to as the Federal Wiretap Act. The Act originally covered only wire and oral communication. In 1986, the Act was amended to Title 1, § 111 which extended coverage to electronic communications. The 1986 amendment added paragraphs (12) to (18) were. This amendment barred “intentional intercepting any wire, oral, or electronic communication,” unless the interception is authorized by court order or by other exception. §2411 (1) [Emphasis Supplied]. Since 1986 there have been other amendments to the Act but none have changed section §2510 (12) (D).
18 U.S.C. § 2510 (12)(D):
“electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in while or in part by wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce, but does not include–(A) the radio portion of a cordless unit; (B) any wire or oral communication; (C) any communication made through a tone-only paging device; or (D) any communication from a tracking device (as defined in section 3117 of this title)”; Emphasis Supplied
Analysis of 18 U.S.C. §2510 (12) (D) and Section 3117:
It is clear from the U.S. Supreme Court's holdings, the legislative history and statutory construction that a clear reading of 18 U.S. C. § 2510 (12) (D) expressly excludes section 3117 tracking devices from the definition of "electronic communication." § 3117 tracking devices are those devices which are placed pursuant to a Court's order . . . not to exclude [Emphasis Supplied] these mobile tracking devices would result in the suppression of the evidence from Court ordered installations.
The exclusion language of § 2510 (12) (D) does not and has not allowed mobile tracking devices to be installed or monitored except by the manner proscribed by statute and U.S. Supreme Court which are as follows:
- Beepers- Outside containers ( objects) where there is no legitimate expectation of privacy-Warrant-less
- Section 3117- Warrant pursuant to an empowered Court.
- Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 (1990)-Warrant-Magistrate
If mobile tracking devices are not installed and monitored in the manner recited above . . . the signals, pings etc. from the mobile tracking devices are "intentional interceptions of an electronic communication . . . and shall be punished." § 2511 (1). Further, § 2515 bars the use of any evidence as a result of an “intentional interception.”
Included in the “Act” is a civil provision, monetary remedy, which allows prosecution of claim based on every time a person is “pinged.” These cases are just now being presented. This office is on the forefront of this litigation. There will be additional postings on this web site as new data is obtained and/or cases are prosecuted.
If you believe that you or yours have been tracked by an ETD,
please contact my office at 405.236.5200.
Pub. L. 99-508. Sec. 101 (a)(6), and pars. (12) to (18).