Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (03/05/1998)

Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act of 1998 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit modifying any electronic communication device, equipment, or system in a manner which causes it to fail to comply with regulations governing electronic eavesdropping devices. Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prescribe regulations (and review and revise them when necessary in response to changes in technology and behavior) denying equipment authorization for any scanning receiver capable of: (1) receiving transmissions in frequencies allocated to the domestic cellular or personal communications service; (2) being readily altered to receive such transmissions; (3) being equipped with decoders that convert domestic cellular or personal communications service or protected specialized mobile radio service transmissions to analog voice audio, or which convert protected paging service transmissions to alphanumeric text; or (4) being equipped with devices that otherwise encode encrypted radio transmissions for purposes of unauthorized interception.

Directs the FCC, with respect to scanning receivers capable of receiving transmissions in frequencies used by commercial mobile services and that are shared by public safety users, to examine methods and prescribe regulations to enhance the privacy of users of such frequencies. Requires tampering prevention measures and warning labels to be considered by the FCC in prescribing such regulations.

Applies penalties for the unauthorized publication or use of electronic communications to the unauthorized receipt, intentional interception, or divulgence of any such communication. Directs the FCC to investigate alleged violations and proceed to initiate action to impose forfeiture penalties.