The "Wiretap Act" (the "Act") is a federal law that is aimed at protecting your privacy in your communications with other persons. Typically, when you think of a "wiretap," the first thing that comes to mind is someone listening to your telephone calls. But, the Act protects more than that.
Under the Act, it is illegal to:
Intentionally, or purposefully,
Intercept, disclose, or use the contents of
Any wire, oral, or electronic communication
Through the use of a "device"
The Act provides criminal and civil penalties for violations, and it has various exceptions to when interceptions and disclosures are not illegal.
Although the Act defines most of these terms, federal cases that interpret the Act play a large role in understanding their meaning and how they apply to any particular case or situation.