2006 Code of Virginia § 19.2-62 - Interception, disclosure, etc., of wire, electronic or oral communications unlawful; penalties; exc...

19.2-62. Interception, disclosure, etc., of wire, electronic or oralcommunications unlawful; penalties; exceptions.

A. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter any person who:

1. Intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept or procures any otherperson to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, electronic or oralcommunication;

2. Intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to useor endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical or other device to interceptany oral communication;

3. Intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person thecontents of any wire, electronic or oral communication knowing or havingreason to know that the information was obtained through the interception ofa wire, electronic or oral communication; or

4. Intentionally uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire,electronic or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that theinformation was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic ororal communication; shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

B. 1. It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for an operator of aswitchboard, or an officer, employee or agent of a provider of wire orelectronic communications service, whose facilities are used in thetransmission of a wire communication, to intercept, disclose or use thatcommunication in the normal course of his employment while engaged in anyactivity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his service or tothe protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service.However, a provider of wire communication service to the public shall notutilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical orservice quality control checks. It shall not be a criminal offense under thischapter for providers of wire or electronic communications service, theirofficers, employees and agents, landlords, custodians, or other personspursuant to a court order under this chapter, to provide informationfacilities or technical assistance to an investigative or law-enforcementofficer, who, pursuant to this chapter, is authorized to intercept a wire,electronic or oral communication.

2. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for a person tointercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is aparty to the communication or one of the parties to the communication hasgiven prior consent to such interception.

3. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for any person:

(a) To intercept or access an electronic communication made through anelectronic communication system that is configured so that such electroniccommunication is readily accessible to the general public;

(b) To intercept any radio communication which is transmitted (i) by anystation for the use of the general public, or that relates to ships,aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress, (ii) by any governmental,law-enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safetycommunications system, including police and fire, readily accessible to thegeneral public, (iii) by a station operating on an authorized frequencywithin the bands allocated to the amateur, citizens band, or general mobileradio services; or (iv) by any marine or aeronautical communications system;

(c) To intercept any wire or electronic communication the transmission ofwhich is causing harmful interference to any lawfully operating station orconsumer electronic equipment, to the extent necessary to identify the sourceof such interference;

(d) Using the same frequency to intercept any radio communication madethrough a system that utilizes frequencies monitored by individuals engagedin the provision or the use of such system, if such communication is notscrambled or encrypted;

(e) To use a pen register or a trap and trace device pursuant to 19.2-70.1and 19.2-70.2; or

(f) Who is a provider of electronic communication service to record the factthat a wire or electronic communication was initiated or completed in orderto protect such provider, another provider furnishing service toward thecompletion of the wire or electronic communication, or a user of thatservice, from fraudulent, unlawful or abusive use of such service.

C. A person or entity providing an electronic communication service to thepublic shall not intentionally divulge the contents of any communication,other than one to such person or entity or an agent thereof, while intransmission on that service to any person or entity other than an addresseeor intended recipient of such communication or an agent of the addressee orintended recipient. However, a person or entity providing electroniccommunication service to the public may divulge the contents of any suchcommunication:

1. As authorized in subdivision B 1 of this section or 19.2-67;

2. With the lawful consent of the originator or any addressee or intendedrecipient of such communication;

3. To a person employed or authorized, or whose facilities are used, toforward such communication to its destination; or

4. Which were inadvertently obtained by the service provider and which appearto pertain to the commission of a crime, to a law-enforcement agency.

Conduct otherwise an offense under this subsection that consists of orrelates to the interception of a satellite transmission that is not encryptedor scrambled and that is transmitted (i) to a broadcasting station forpurposes of retransmission to the general public, or (ii) as an audiosubcarrier intended for redistribution to facilities open to the public, butnot including data transmissions or telephone calls, is not an offense underthis section unless the conduct is for the purposes of direct or indirectcommercial advantage or private financial gain. Further, private viewing of asatellite video communication that is not scrambled or encrypted andinterception of a radio communication that is transmitted on frequenciesallocated under subpart D of Part 74 of the Rules of the FederalCommunications Commission that is not scrambled or encrypted when the viewingor interception is not done for a tortious or illegal purpose or for purposesof direct or indirect commercial advantage or private commercial gain, shallnot be offenses under this chapter.

Violation of this subsection shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(Code 1950, 19.1-89.2; 1973, c. 442; 1975, c. 495; 1988, c. 889; 2004, c.149.)

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