Pen register

DNRPen Register ActPen Registerspen traptelephone call metadata
A pen register, or dialed number recorder (DNR), is an electronic device that records all numbers called from a particular telephone line.wikipedia
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Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 19861986 Electronic Communications Privacy ActECPA
The original statutory definition of a pen register was created in 1984 as part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which defined a "Pen Register" as:
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) was enacted by the United States Congress to extend restrictions on government wire taps of telephone calls to include transmissions of electronic data by computer ( et seq.), added new provisions prohibiting access to stored electronic communications, i.e., the Stored Communications Act (SCA, et seq.), and added so-called pen trap provisions that permit the tracing of telephone communications ( et seq.).ECPA was an amendment to Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the Wiretap Statute), which was primarily designed to prevent unauthorized government access to private electronic communications.

Patriot Act

USA PATRIOT ActUSA PATRIOTPATRIOT Act III
This is the current definition of a Pen Register, as amended by passage of the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act.
The law governing obligatory and voluntary disclosure of customer communications by cable companies was altered to allow agencies to demand such communications under U.S.C. Title 18 provisions relating to the disclosure of electronic communications (chapter 119), pen registers and trap and trace devices (chapter 206) and stored communications (121), though it excluded the disclosure of cable subscriber viewing habits.

Smith v. Maryland

Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 744 (1979).
Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the installation and use of the pen register was not a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and hence no warrant was required.

Trap and trace device

phone tracesTrap and Trace Devicestrap-and-trace
A pen register is similar to a trap and trace device.
A trap and trace device that captures incoming phone calls to a particular number, similar to a how pen register captures outgoing phone calls.

Telephone tapping

wiretapwiretappingwiretaps
It overturned Olmstead v. United States (1928) and held that warrantless wiretaps were unconstitutional searches, because there was a reasonable expectation that the communication would be private.
This information used to be collected using special equipment known as pen registers and trap and trace devices and U.S. law still refers to it under those names.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

FISAFISA warranta statute
The order was approved on April 25, 2013 by federal Judge Roger Vinson, member of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which court had been created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Pen registers and trap & trace devices for foreign intelligence purposes

Electronics

electronicelectronic deviceelectronic equipment
A pen register, or dialed number recorder (DNR), is an electronic device that records all numbers called from a particular telephone line.

Telephone number

phone numbertelephone numbersphone numbers
A pen register, or dialed number recorder (DNR), is an electronic device that records all numbers called from a particular telephone line.

Telephone

phonetelephonesLocal Telephone Service
A pen register, or dialed number recorder (DNR), is an electronic device that records all numbers called from a particular telephone line.

Computer and network surveillance

internet monitoringinternet surveillancenetwork surveillance
The term has come to include any device or program that performs similar functions to an original pen register, including programs monitoring Internet communications.

Internet

onlinethe Internetweb
The term has come to include any device or program that performs similar functions to an original pen register, including programs monitoring Internet communications.

Telegraphy

telegraphtelegramcable
The term pen register originally referred to a device for recording telegraph signals on a strip of paper.

Samuel Morse

Samuel F. B. MorseMorseSamuel F.B. Morse
Samuel F. B. Morse's 1840 telegraph patent described such a register as consisting of a lever holding an armature on one end, opposite an electromagnet, with a fountain pen, pencil or other marking instrument on the other end, and a clockwork mechanism to advance a paper recording tape under the marker.

Lever

fulcrumpivotlevers
Samuel F. B. Morse's 1840 telegraph patent described such a register as consisting of a lever holding an armature on one end, opposite an electromagnet, with a fountain pen, pencil or other marking instrument on the other end, and a clockwork mechanism to advance a paper recording tape under the marker.

Electromagnet

electromagnetselectro-magnetbipolar magnets
Samuel F. B. Morse's 1840 telegraph patent described such a register as consisting of a lever holding an armature on one end, opposite an electromagnet, with a fountain pen, pencil or other marking instrument on the other end, and a clockwork mechanism to advance a paper recording tape under the marker.

Fountain pen

fountain pensfountainfountain-pen
Samuel F. B. Morse's 1840 telegraph patent described such a register as consisting of a lever holding an armature on one end, opposite an electromagnet, with a fountain pen, pencil or other marking instrument on the other end, and a clockwork mechanism to advance a paper recording tape under the marker.

Pencil

pencilscolor pencilpencil lead
Samuel F. B. Morse's 1840 telegraph patent described such a register as consisting of a lever holding an armature on one end, opposite an electromagnet, with a fountain pen, pencil or other marking instrument on the other end, and a clockwork mechanism to advance a paper recording tape under the marker.

Pulse dialing

dial pulsepulse diallingpulse dial
As pulse dialing came into use for telephone exchanges, pen registers had obvious applications as diagnostic instruments for recording sequences of telephone dial pulses.

Telephone exchange

exchangescentral officeexchange
As pulse dialing came into use for telephone exchanges, pen registers had obvious applications as diagnostic instruments for recording sequences of telephone dial pulses.

Katz v. United States

KatzKatz v United States (1967)Katz'' test
In Katz v. United States (1967), the United States Supreme Court established its "reasonable expectation of privacy" test.

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme CourtUnited States Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme Court
In Katz v. United States (1967), the United States Supreme Court established its "reasonable expectation of privacy" test.

Expectation of privacy

reasonable expectation of privacyinvasion of privacybelieved they could speak freely
In Katz v. United States (1967), the United States Supreme Court established its "reasonable expectation of privacy" test.

Olmstead v. United States

It overturned Olmstead v. United States (1928) and held that warrantless wiretaps were unconstitutional searches, because there was a reasonable expectation that the communication would be private.