Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Rich Haglund

First Page



This note will explain how the different surveillance methods work: wire taps, pen register and trap and trace devices. It will outline the development of case law and legislation defining what constitutes unlawful searches and seizures involving electronic communications. After explaining how email and internet addresses are collected (and whether the FBI's tool for collection works within the bounds set by the law), this note will discuss the provisions of the Patriot Act that regulate collection of that information. This note will show, using the application of pen register and trap and trace devices to the Internet as an example, how Congress is in the best position to protect Society's reasonable expectations of privacy as communications technology changes.