Unauthorized Installation or Use of Pen Registers
Trap and Trace Devices18 U.S.C. § 3121
The 1986 Act added 18 U.S.C. §§ 3121 through 3126, which
regulate the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices. Section
contains a general prohibition against installation or use of a pen register
trap and trace device without first obtaining a court order under 18 U.S.C.
3123 or under FISA. Section 3121(c), added in 1994, requires a government
authorized to use a pen register to use technology reasonably available to
that restricts the recording or decoding of the impulses to the dialing and
signaling information utilized in call processing. Section 3121(d) provides
whoever "knowingly" violates § 3121(a) is subject to a fine as provided
Title 18 and imprisonment of not more than one year.|
The statute contains provisions exempting a service provider using
pen register or trap and trace device in order to test, operate, or maintain
equipment and services, or to protect the property rights of its customers,
U.S.C. § 3121(b)(1), or to record the fact that a wire or electronic
communication was initiated or completed in order to protect itself, another
provider, or a customer from fraud or abuse. 18 U.S.C. § 3121(b)(2).
Finally, it is not necessary to obtain a court order when the telephone user
consents to the installation of the pen register or trap and trace device.
U.S.C. § 3121(b)(2).
[cited in USAM 9-60.200]