For example, when the telephone was invented, law enforcement agents could “eavesdrop” on conversations, and as early as 1928 the U.S. Courts reviewed convictions supported by evidence obtained through wiretaps placed on telephone wires. In the Olmstead Case, for example, the Court ruled that wiretapping was not within the confines of the Fourth Amendment. Moreover, six years after the Olmstead case decision, Congress enacted the Federal Communications Act. With this Act’s passage, there was a broadly worded section in which the Court placed some limitations on wiretapping evidence. For example, in Nardone v. the United States, the Court held that wiretapping by federal officers violated the Federal Communications Act if they both intercepted and then divulged the conversation’s contents. In essence, their testimony would be a form of “prohibited divulgence,” making this kind of evidence essentially irrelevant in court.
See Also: Crackers.