(A) It is lawful under this chapter for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of a provider of wire or electronic communication service whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire or electronic communication to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of his employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his service or to the protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service, except that a provider of wire communication service to the public must not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a provider of wire, oral, or electronic communication service, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person may provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to a person authorized by law to intercept wire, oral, or electronic communications if the provider, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person, has been provided with:

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-30-25

  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • 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
  • Electronic communication service: means any service which provides to users of the service the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15
  • 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
  • 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

(1) a court order directing such assistance signed by the authorizing judge; or

(2) a certification in writing by a person specified in Section 17-30-95 that no warrant or court order is required by law, that all statutory requirements have been met, and that the specified assistance is required, setting forth the period of time during which the provision of the information, facilities, or technical assistance is authorized and specifying the information, facilities, or technical assistance required.

(C) A provider of wire, oral, or electronic communication service, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person must not disclose the existence of any interception or the device used to accomplish the interception with respect to which the person has been furnished an order under this chapter, except as may otherwise be required by legal process and then only after prior notice to the Attorney General or his Assistant Attorney General. Any such disclosure renders the person liable for the civil damages provided under Section 17-30-135, and the person may be prosecuted. An action shall not be brought against a provider of wire, oral, or electronic communication service, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other person for providing information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a court order under this chapter.