State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-287

§15A‑287.  Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electroniccommunications prohibited.

(a)        Except as otherwisespecifically provided in this Article, a person is guilty of a Class H felonyif, without the consent of at least one party to the communication, the person:

(1)        Willfullyintercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to interceptor endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication.

(2)        Willfully uses,endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use anyelectronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communicationwhen:

a.         The device isaffixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or otherlike connection used in wire communications; or

b.         The device transmitscommunications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of suchcommunications.

(3)        Willfully discloses,or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral,or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that theinformation was obtained through violation of this Article; or

(4)        Willfully uses, orendeavors to use, the contents of any wire or oral communication, knowing orhaving reason to know that the information was obtained through the interceptionof a wire or oral communication in violation of this Article.

(b)        It is not unlawfulunder this Article for any person to:

(1)        Intercept or accessan electronic communication made through an electronic communication systemthat is configured so that the electronic communication is readily accessibleto the general public;

(2)        Intercept any radiocommunication which is transmitted:

a.         For use by thegeneral public, or that relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons indistress;

b.         By any governmental,law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safetycommunication system, including police and fire, readily available to thegeneral public;

c.         By a stationoperating on any authorized band within the bands allocated to the amateur,citizens band, or general mobile radio services; or

d.         By any marine oraeronautical communication system; or

(3)        Intercept anycommunication in a manner otherwise allowed by Chapter 119 of the United StatesCode.

(c)        It is not unlawfulunder this Article for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee,or agent of a provider of electronic communication service, whose facilitiesare used in the transmission of a wire or electronic communication, tointercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course ofemployment while engaged in any activity that is a necessary incident to therendition of his or her service or to the protection of the rights or propertyof the provider of that service, provided that a provider of wire or electroniccommunication service may not utilize service observing or random monitoringexcept for mechanical or service quality control checks.

(d)        It is not unlawfulunder this Article for an officer, employee, or agent of the FederalCommunications Commission, in the normal course of his employment and indischarge of the monitoring responsibilities exercised by the Commission in theenforcement of Chapter 5 of Title 47 of the United States Code, to intercept awire or electronic communication, or oral communication transmitted by radio,or to disclose or use the information thereby obtained.

(e)        Any person who, asa result of the person's official position or employment, has obtainedknowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication lawfullyintercepted pursuant to an electronic surveillance order or of the pendency orexistence of or implementation of an electronic surveillance order who shallknowingly and willfully disclose such information for the purpose of hinderingor thwarting any investigation or prosecution relating to the subject matter ofthe electronic surveillance order, except as is necessary for the proper andlawful performance of the duties of his position or employment or as shall berequired or allowed by law, shall be guilty of a Class G felony.

(f)         Any person whoshall, knowingly or with gross negligence, divulge the existence of or contentsof any electronic surveillance order in a way likely to hinder or thwart anyinvestigation or prosecution relating to the subject matter of the electronicsurveillance order or anyone who shall, knowingly or with gross negligence,release the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication interceptedunder an electronic surveillance order, except as is necessary for the properand lawful performance of the duties of his position or employment or as isrequired or allowed by law, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(g)        Any public officerwho shall violate subsection (a) or (d) of this section or who shall knowinglyviolate subsection (e) of this section shall be removed from any public officehe may hold and shall thereafter be ineligible to hold any public office,whether elective or appointed. (1995, c. 407, s. 1.)