A judge in California ruled that the use of a keystroke logger, which is a device or program that records what you type on your keyboard, does not violate federal wiretap laws.
This case involved an employer installing a physical device between his secretary’s computer and keyboard that monitored and recorded what she typed.
Privacy advocates have argued that since keystroke logging facilitates covertly monitoring and recording information and conversations, cases should be prosecuted using the same laws that protect the public from telephone wiretaps. However, the wiretap laws offer very specific protection. In this case the best the prosecution could offer was that the computer being monitored was used to compose emails. Email can be protected under the wiretap laws but only as they travel over data networks. After they are stored, snooping is not protected under wiretap laws.