The defendant attempted to intercept electronic communications in alleged violation of 18 U.S.C § 2511 (1) (a), known as the Wiretap Act. This Act was written to protect the privacy of electronic, oral, and wire communications. The defendant installed a device called a KeyKatcher. This device was placed on the cable that connects the keyboard to the central processing unit (CPU). The KeyKatcher records the electronic impulses that are sent to the CPU when a key is depressed. These impulses can be translated into text so that a transcript of everything that was typed can be obtained.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.