Interpretation of the Word Intercept under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

In Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. U.S. Secret Service, the court determined the issue of whether the seizure of a computer, used to operate an electronic bulletin board system, and containing private electronic mail which had been sent to (stored on) the bulletin board, but not read (retrieved) by the intended recipients, constitutes an unlawful intercept under the Wire Tape Act and its complementary legislation, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The court held that the seizure of a computer storing private e-mail messages, not related to the investigation, was not an unlawful interception under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986?
Who are the parties and what are the facts of this case?
What did the lower court hold?
What did the appellate court hold?

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