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eavesdropping

Secretly gaining unauthorized access to confidential communications. Examples include listening to radio transmissions or using laser interferometers to reconstitute conversations by reflecting laser beams off windows that are vibrating in synchrony to the sound in the room. See wiretapping.



wiretapping

A form of eavesdropping involving physical connection to the communications channels to breach the confidentiality of communications. For example, many poorly-secured buildings have unprotected telephone wiring closets where intruders may connect unauthorized wires to listen in on phone conversations and data communications. See ECPA.



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