Wiretapping occurs all the time in espionage and crime movies. Spies and gangsters know the enemy is listening, so they speak in code over the phone and keep an eye out for bugs. In the real world, we may not think much about wiretapping. Most of the time, we assume our phone lines are secure. And in most cases, they are, but only because nobody cares enough to listen in. If people did want to eavesdrop, they could tap into almost any phone line quite easily.

When you open up a phone, you can see that the technology inside is very simple. The simplicity of design makes the phone system vulnerable to surreptitious eavesdropping.

In this article, we'll explore the practice of wiretapping to see just how simple it is. We'll also look at a few different types of wiretaps, find out who taps phone lines and examine the laws that regulate this practice.