Telephone tapping is the monitoring of telephone and Internet conversations by a third party, often by covert means.
A telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly.
The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link billions of devices worldwide.
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The wire tap received its name because, historically, the monitoring connection was an actual electrical tap on the telephone line.
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Legal wiretapping by a government agency is also called lawful interception.
A government or state agency, often an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency.
Lawful interception is obtaining communications network data pursuant to lawful authority for the purpose of analysis or evidence.
Passive wiretapping monitors or records the traffic, while active wiretapping alters or otherwise affects it.