Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Jay Campbell

First Page



This note will examine the obsolescence of laws through the lens of recent cases relating to "wiretapping laws" and propose the creation of laws that protect certain rights independent of technology. Recently, a number of courts have held that laws created in the mid-1980's to protect communications do not apply to Internet-related communications, reasoning that the method of transmission falls outside the language of the statutes. As a result, e-mail and other forms of Internet-based communications are treated differently from older forms of communication such as telephone conversations. This note will propose a broad legislative solution with the aim of both extending protections to the new forms of communication and providing a framework for dealing with new forms of communications technology as they are developed." Though this specific solution will apply merely to the technology at issue, the same approach could be used to address other technologies that have not yet been created.

Section II will briefly lay out the development of the current wiretapping laws. Section III will illustrate the two-fold problem that the recent court cases have created. Finally, Section IV will evaluate possible methods for protecting the newer forms of communication.