Evidence – Wiretapping and the Congress

The familiar cry that “there ought to be a law” is frequently raised concerning the practice which Justice Holmes long ago characterized as “dirty business” – the tapping of telephone wires. Although existing legislation on both federal and state levels deals with interception of telephone messages, the almost universal conclusion of commentators on the subject has been that many of the present day statutes are inadequate. It is particularly apparent that the famous section 605 of the Federal Communications Act of 1934 has long been in need of replacement or thorough revision. The purpose of this comment is to examine the past and possible future handling of the wiretapping problem by Congress.