(A) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, any person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, who intentionally:

(1) sends through the mail or otherwise sends or carries any electronic, mechanical, or other device, knowing or having reason to know that the design of the device renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the unlawful interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications as specifically defined by this chapter; or

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-30-55

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • 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
  • State: means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other possession or territory of the United States. See South Carolina Code 17-30-15

(2) manufactures, assembles, possesses, or sells any electronic, mechanical, or other device, knowing or having reason to know that the design of the device renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the unlawful interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications as specifically defined by this chapter.

(B) It is lawful under this section for the persons listed in items (1) and (2) of this subsection to send through the mail, send, or carry in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce or manufacture, assemble, possess, or sell any electronic, mechanical, or other device, knowing or having reason to know that the design of the device renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications.

The persons to whom this subsection applies are:

(1) a provider of wire or electronic communication service or an officer, agent, or employee of, or a person under contract with, such a provider, in the normal course of the business of providing that wire or electronic communication service; or

(2) an officer, agent, or employee of, or a person under contract with, bidding upon contracts with, or in the course of doing business with, the United States, a state, or a political subdivision of the State, in the normal course of the activities of the United States, a state, or a political subdivision of the State.