Abu Dhabi: The Saudi Public Prosecution has made it clear that correspondence, letters, publications, parcels and phone conversations may not be intercepted or monitored except in cases specified by the law and with a warrant or a reasoned permission from the Public Prosecutor.
Monitoring must only take place for a limited period and in connection with a crime that actually occurred, the Public Prosecution added..
Under article 57 of the Criminal Procedure Law, the Public Prosecutor may order the interception of letters, publications, and parcels, and may authorise the monitoring and recording of phone conversations, whenever this is useful in investigating a crime that has occurred, for a period not exceeding 10 days, renewable according to the requirements of the investigation.
Lawful interception is officially strictly controlled in many countries to safeguard privacy; this is the case in all liberal democracies. In theory, phone tapping needs to be authorised by a court, and is normally only approved when evidence shows it is not possible to detect criminal or subversive activity in less intrusive ways.
Often the law and regulations require the crime being investigated is of a certain severity. Illegal or unauthorised phone tapping is often a criminal offence. In certain jurisdictions such as Germany and France, courts will accept illegally recorded phone calls without the other party’s consent as evidence, but the unauthorised phone tapping is still prosecuted.
In the US, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, federal intelligence agencies can get approval for wiretaps from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or in certain circumstances from the Attorney General without a court order.
The phone call recording laws in most US states require only one party to be aware of the recording, while 12 states require both parties to be aware. The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects privacy rights by requiring a warrant to search an individual. However, phone tapping is the subject of controversy surrounding violations of this right.
There are arguments that wiretapping invades privacy and therefore violates their Fourth Amendment rights. But there are certain rules and regulations, which permit wiretapping.