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Wiretapping: A Necessary Evil?


The term wiretapping brings to mind images of old-school crime TV shows and movies. We imagine a phone conversation over the landline, with the police listening in on the other end. In today’s world, however, wiretapping is inclusive of electronic and verbal communication as well. The term itself means to monitor conversations to investigate the target using covert methods. It comes from the old practice of connecting a wire to a telephone line and listening directly to the call on another listening device. In these modern times of cell phones and the internet, such practices have also evolved.


Nowadays, law enforcement can request a service provider for information and, all it takes is a simple click of a mouse button to tap a cell phone remotely. But wary criminals have found new and innovative ways to avoid incriminating themselves when communicating with their network. Coupled with the complexity of the modern telephone system, law enforcement, and other surveillance companies have been forced to find new ways of wiretapping.

History of Wiretapping

The practice of tapping telephones first started in 1895. A former telephone worker who had joined the police suggested it as a way to catch criminal activities. The then Mayor of New York gave his blessings to the idea and the rest is history. The practice flourished, gaining widespread use in law enforcement. At that time, telephones were not a common household item, so there was no public outcry. That came later in 1916, a time of war when wiretapping was rife throughout the country. Anytime a suspected alien picked up his phone, a stenographer would listen in and record the conversation.


There are many other famous examples of wiretapping throughout history. The Attorney General of the United States in 1963, Robert F. Kennedy, authorized the surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. Law enforcement tapped both his office and home telephones. During the second world war, both sides worked tirelessly to monitor and secure phone messages. The Nazis even monitored the voltage across phone lines to detect any interference. Since then, as methods of communication changed, so has surveillance.



Media retrospective: Tapping a cell phone remotely


Wiretapping also has a special place in popular media about crime and police. One of the most famous examples is the hit HBO show, The Wire. The show came out in 2002 and is a social commentary on the city of Baltimore. It focuses on the criminal elements operating inside the city and the methods the police use to catch them. One of the episodes shows the police using a technology called the Triggerfish. Triggerfish later evolved into Stingray, a device that can be fitted inside a car and driven around. It then mimics a cell phone tower and could then be used for tapping into a cell phone remotely. The show was so realistic in its portrayal of surveillance methods that law enforcement authorities had to request that some parts be cut, lest they warn criminals and force them to adopt new methods of avoiding the police.


The Lives of Others is another example of popular media based on wiretapping. It’s a story about a member of the Stasi, the secret police, operating in East Berlin in 1984. The officer, Gerd Wiesler, is assigned to wiretap a playwright and his girlfriend to build evidence against the man and convict him of being disloyal to the party. As the story evolves, the officer gets drawn deeper into the life of his suspect. He begins to question the investigation and ends up withholding evidence from his superiors to protect his targets. The movie is a great commentary on the methods of wiretapping used in the Eastern Bloc, as well as human emotions and empathy.

Cell Phone Tapping in Modern Times


During the 1970s, fiber optic cables were introduced and quickly became the most popular medium of information transfer. Because these were wired connections, they were offered better protection under U.S laws. However, after 9/11, in the name of national security, government agencies were allowed to practice mass surveillance again. A massive domestic and global network was built to allow government agencies such as the NSA to collect information on millions of American and foreign nationals. This information was collected on anyone even suspected of wrong-doing, without any evidence. The NSA even has extensive data on people’s financial information, internet browsing habits, and emails. They also perform a deep analysis of social media networks. The truth of the matter is, your cellular device is effectively spying on you all the time.


In this day and age, it is not just the law enforcement authorities that are capable of listening in to your phone conversations. There is plenty of apps available for tapping a cell phone remotely. Most law-abiding citizens do not think they will ever need to use such a method, but there are certain situations where it could come in handy. These spying apps have seen widespread use among jealous spouses, concerned parents, and employers. They can be used to discover hidden truths about the people you think you know. Parents can use them to keep tabs on their children. They can see who they talk to and where they are at all times. Similarly, employers can use such software to make sure your team’s productivity is satisfactory.


Tapping a cell phone remotely with phone spyware

The secret to successfully tapping a cell phone while remaining undetected is to use a high-quality spy app. As with pretty much everything else today, you will have multiple options. Not all of those options are the same though. Some apps can have bugs or weaknesses that can lead to their detection on a target phone. Some apps may not provide all the standard features, or they may have eye-watering subscription charges. Even if an app has all the features that we are looking for, installation on another device can be a huge hassle. Therefore, you need a spy that has a variety of features, is affordable, and is easy to install. After scouring many options, we settled on Xnspy. Have a look to this guide for more details:


One of the reasons for choosing Xnspy is the ease of installation. For iOS devices, all you need is access to the target phone’s iCloud credentials. It works on all recent versions of iOS, including iOS 15. This allows you to remotely tap the phone. After the installation is complete, you need to wait a day or two, and then you can access the target phone’s data by logging in to the app’s control panel. There it will display calls, text messages, and location data. You can also see multimedia and browser history. Among the plethora of available features are a keylogger and offline monitoring. The app can save the data and transmit it after the cell phone is connected to the internet again.


Wiretapping came into existence soon as the telephone did. Since the beginning, ordinary people and law enforcement agencies have been spying on the conversations of other people to gain information. It is important to not only protect yourself from such attempts but also to be able to do it yourself if the need be. Please make sure you are aware of the local laws before you do. Parents of children under 18 need not worry about the legal implications of monitoring their children.


  1. Calvin S. Trevino on November 22, 2021 at 2:22 am

    I remember growing up watching movies where detectives would wiretap a phone of a mafia boss. Was there a scene like that in Scarface? Anyways, I always thought that was an old technique that fell out of favor.

  2. Clark Mate on November 23, 2021 at 9:03 am

    We have employee surveillance software on our company phones. Wiretapping is everywhere

  3. Jhony Thompson on November 24, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Almost forgot about NSA and there spying nonsense. Wonder why no one talks about it anymore.

  4. Jhony Thompson on November 24, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Almost forgot about NSA and their spying nonsense. Wonder why no one talks about it anymore.

    • Anna Kimberly on December 22, 2021 at 6:44 am


    • Anna Kimberly on December 27, 2021 at 6:13 am

      Wiretapping goes as far back as the first phone. Not surprised, just thinking of how many technologies existing today have backdoor spying solutions built in them.

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