Here’s an interesting response to that pesky wiretapping law that says it’s illegal to read people’s packet without their consent
It’s worth noting, however, that these federal statutes were enshrined before the internet changed the universe. They may or may not apply to newfangled privacy invasions like Phorm and NebuAd.
“I’m not so easily convinced the wiretapping laws come into play here. The purpose and techniques of true wiretapping are really very different from tracking someone on the internet,” says Jonathan Kramer, a telecoms-savvy attorney with the Kramer Telecom Law Firm. “These laws are like rubber bands. You can stretch them to new technologies – but they may pop right back at you.”
I can see his point though — listening to someone’s phone conversations or email because you want to target them individually is different from wiretapping them because you think you can make a profit selling their conversations en masse. It’s like the difference between cutting someone’s brake lines and making a coporate decision to sell 10 million cars with nonworking brakes because you make more money that way.