Cyber security is also called information technology or computer security, and is the coverage of computer or information systems from being stolen or destructed of the computer hardware, software together with the stored data. Cyber security equally protects against interruption and misleading programs availed in these computers. This research paper is providing detailed information about Electronic Privacy Control Act that was formed in 1986 to address cyber security and privacy issues in electronic communication.
Electronic Privacy Control Act of 1986 addresses three main issues. The first issue is the prevention of wiretaps interruption to avoid exposure of a subscriber’s private communications which is the interceptive properties of dialogues or interlocution basing arguments on landlines. Secondly, this Act bans the illegal acquisition of a subscriber’s stored electronic data. Finally, the uses the Pen register and trace devices to track telephone conversations.
The Electronic Privacy Control Act has three titles indicated as Title I, Title II and Title III. The first title entails the Wiretap Act. After the aspect of stored communication comes second.The thid title focuses on the process of inestigating and establishing devices, and is commonly called Pen Register Act. Title I involves the Wiretap Act. This part disallows deliberate or planned initial interruption, utility, revelation or attainment of an individual’s plan to interrupt or determination to interrupt a wire, oral or electronic means of conveying information. These wires and electronic devices are safeguarded against malicious individuals. The Act equally forbids the usage of unlawfully acquired information as facts in a trial case. The Wiretap Act has some exclusions, however. For instance, particular service providers are legally allowed to interrupt the conversation and use these conversations as evidence in a trial. Consequently, they can closely observe suspects or criminals through and electronic surveillance according to section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. This Act provided a procedural process to be used by political leaders or officials in the acquisition of judicial permission for interrupting these communications. The revealed information acquired using Wiretap is controlled and its usage verified. The judge, therefore, is allowed to give permission but for a specific period of time during which the interruption process should take place.
Title II is about the Stored Communication Act that guards the information or data kept by a service provider. It helps keep safe the sets of data on a subscriber such as identification details, IP addresses, and accounts receivable records. This Act specifically safeguards the memory of a computer where data or information has been kept safely. This safeguarded data can include emails that are not being conveyed or passed through another device. According to this Act, it is illegal to deliberately intrude into an electronic communication service and cause malicious changes on the stored data or information. That is employers are not allowed to view their employee’s electronic data including emails unless it is has been permitted by the law.
Title III is the Pen Register Act. This Act provides ingenuity on pen register, trap, and trace devices. This Act majorly depends on the government to acquire court mandate to permitting the installment and the administering of the Pen Register, Trap, and Trace Techniques. The Pen Register, Trap, and Trace Devices do not interrupt communications. A permission, however, can be given upon provision of a certificate by an individual stated how the conversation interruption might be of help to the applicant’s investigating team. These devices give information on the source of a particular communication and the receiver. However, it does not provide details of the communication. This Act, therefore, protects the Pen, Trap and Trace Devices used. In mobile phones, Pen Registers provide the caller and the receiver’s numbers in every call made. According to the USA Patriot Act, the emails in Pen Registers require the sender and the address to be complete.
There are, however, exceptions to Electronic Privacy Control Act of 1986. According to the Electronic Privacy Control Act an individual is allowed to capture their communication because it does not go against the Wiretap Act rules or the federal law. The court judicial department can equally permit the interruption of someone’s conservation in case such communications can help in the investigation process of a criminal offense. Similarly, in Stored Communication Act and Pen Register Act the rules can interfere with to ensure law enforcement process. The government has the power to demand an individual data known as the customer records from these service providers. This process is compliant with Section 2703 of the National Security Letter.
Consequently, amendments have been made to this Act since 1986 to ensure its relevance and efficiency. These corrections have been done following the criticism that has been raised in the industry by subscribers and the government. In 1994, the Electronic Privacy Control Act was amended through Communication Assistance to Law Enforcement Act. USA Patriot Act of 2001 amendments granted permission for word device in the Electronic Privacy Control Act to in co-operating software as well. This idea was due to the lack of an enacted exclusion law on the unauthorized usage of Pen Registers and trace devices. Furthermore, in 2006 the USA Patriot of Reauthorization Act was developed to reinstate the intentions for the USA Patriot Act of 2001. FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was to protect subscribers from the invasion of their privacy by the government. According to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, the rights of subscribers were to be protected, and unrealistic intrusion into a subscriber’s privacy was to be avoided unless a judicial court grants permission. Finally, the Email Privacy Act of 2016 recompense the Electronic Control Privacy to adjust the period for storing conversations made to exceed 180 days unlike before. However, there still several proposals that advocate for further amendments to the Act to favor or be in line with the current issues on communication.
The rationale behind the creation of this Act was sole to provide protection of the electronically stored data, email, and telephone communications. This protection is due to the cyber security and privacy issues that arose in the communication sectors amongst service providers and their subscribers. Therefore, providing security at the initial stage or from the sources is vital and can help eliminate mistrust amongst the subscribers. The need to safeguard the stored conversation and provide a private atmosphere led to the establishment of the Electronic Privacy Control Act. This Act was essentially formulated to hinder illegal access of subscribers’ private communications. The Act had three major roles such as restraining interruption on the wiretaps, banning illegal intrusion to privately stored electronic conversations, and tracking telephone made conversations.
To conclude, the Electronic Control Act has undergone several amendments to suit the technological world. This Act has played a pivotal role in promoting trust between service providers and their subscribers following the rapid growth of technology. Through the exceptions on this Act, the government can extract private information which is used in the judiciary to investigate criminal offenses that can cause a threat to a nation. Several amendments and exceptions have been used to ensure its relevance and dependability in the communication sector.