(a) In this section, “electronic communications service” has the meaning assigned by Article 18A.001, Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) A person who provides electronic communications service to the public commits an offense if the person knowingly divulges the contents of a communication to another who is not the intended recipient of the communication.

Terms Used In Texas Penal Code 16.05

  • Actor: means a person whose criminal responsibility is in issue in a criminal action. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Agency: includes authority, board, bureau, commission, committee, council, department, district, division, and office. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Another: means a person other than the actor. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Benefit: means anything reasonably regarded as economic gain or advantage, including benefit to any other person in whose welfare the beneficiary is interested. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Felony: means an offense so designated by law or punishable by death or confinement in a penitentiary. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Law: means the constitution or a statute of this state or of the United States, a written opinion of a court of record, a municipal ordinance, an order of a county commissioners court, or a rule authorized by and lawfully adopted under a statute. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Misdemeanor: means an offense so designated by law or punishable by fine, by confinement in jail, or by both fine and confinement in jail. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
  • Person: means an individual or a corporation, association, limited liability company, or other entity or organization governed by the Business Organizations Code. See Texas Penal Code 1.07

(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that the actor divulged the contents of the communication:
(1) as authorized by federal or state law;
(2) to a person employed, authorized, or whose facilities are used to forward the communication to the communication’s destination; or
(3) to a law enforcement agency if the contents reasonably appear to pertain to the commission of a crime.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under Subsection (b) that involves a scrambled or encrypted radio communication is a state jail felony.
(e) If committed for a tortious or illegal purpose or to gain a benefit, an offense under Subsection (b) that involves a radio communication that is not scrambled or encrypted:
(1) is a Class A misdemeanor if the communication is not a public land mobile radio service communication or a paging service communication; or
(2) is a Class C misdemeanor if the communication is a public land mobile radio service communication or a paging service communication.
(f) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.