- the act or an instance of wiretapping
- a device used in wiretapping
- An act of secretly listening to or recording a person's telephone or Internet conversations, often as part of a police investigation.
- A device that is connected to a communications circuit in a concealed fashion in order to enable a wiretap.
transitive verbwire·tapped, wire·tap·ping, wire·taps
- To listen to or record in secret (a conversation carried on over a telephone line or other communications channel), often as part of a police investigation.
- To wiretap the conversations on (a telephone line or other communications channel), often as part of a police investigation.
- To wiretap the conversations of (a person) or the communications devices in (a place).
- To connect a concealed listening or recording device to (a telephone line).
(third-person singular simple present wiretaps, present participle wiretapping, simple past and past participle wiretapped)
- To install or to use such a device.
wiretap - Computer Definition
In historical terms, a temporary physical connection secretly placed on a metallic circuit in order to monitor the information being transmitted across it. In contemporary terms, a wiretap need not be a physical connection on a circuit, but can take many forms, including the interception of a radio signal. In the United States and many other countries, wiretaps are illegal unless authorized by court order, or perhaps the order of a federal agency or of the executive branch of government in times of war or in the interests of national security. See also eavesdrop and Echelon.
wiretap - Legal Definition
- The listening in of any wire or oral communication by use of electronic or mechanical means; generally illegal where both parties to the communication are unaware of the wiretap. Unauthorized use or possession of wiretap devices is prohibited under state and federal law.
- The act of placing an electronic device to listen in on oral communications. See also bugging, and pen register.