Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, a person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished as provided in Section 17-30-50 of this chapter:

(1) intentionally intercepts, attempts to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or attempt to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-30-20

  • Contents: when used with respect to any wire, oral, or electronic communication, include any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communication. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Electronic communication: means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, photooptical system, or any other device that affects intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce, but does not include:

    (a) any wire or oral communication;

    (b) any communication made through a tone-only paging device;

    (c) any communication from an electronic or mechanical device which permits the tracking of the movement of a person or an object; or

    (d) electronic funds transfer information stored by a financial institution in a communications system used for the electronic storage and transfer of funds. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Intercept: means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Oral communication: means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that the communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying the expectation and does not mean any public oral communication uttered at a public meeting or any electronic communication. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Person: means an employee or agent of the State of South Carolina or political subdivision of the State, of the United States, or of any other state or political subdivision of the State, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • Wire communication: means any aural transfer made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of reception including the use of this connection in a switching station furnished or operated by any person engaged in providing or operating the facilities for the transmission of intrastate, interstate, or foreign communications or communications affecting intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15

(2) intentionally uses, attempts to use, or procures any other person to use or attempt to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:

(a) the device is affixed to or otherwise transmits a signal through a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or

(b) the device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of the communication;

(3) intentionally discloses or attempts to disclose to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

(4) intentionally uses or attempts to use the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

(5) intentionally discloses or attempts to disclose to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted by means authorized by Section 17-30-70 or Section 17-30-95 when that person knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of such a communication in connection with a criminal investigation and the disclosure is not otherwise authorized under this chapter; or

(6) intentionally uses, attempts to use, or procures any other person to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device or service that causes the telephone network to display a telephone number on a phone call recipient’s caller identification display that is not the number of the originating device. This provision shall not apply to:

(a) the legitimate law enforcement use of this procedure by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division;

(b) a person or entity that places a call and blocks or otherwise prevents the delivery of a telephone number to a call recipient’s caller identification display;

(c) a person or entity that places an authorized call on behalf of another person or entity and inserts a telephone number identified with the person or entity on behalf of whom the call is being placed; or

(d) a communications service provider that delivers a call originated by another person or entity.