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eavesdrop on (someone or something)

To intentionally listen to a conversation that one is not a participant in. Because it's likely that people will eavesdrop on our discussion, I think we should postpone it until a later time. If you don't stop eavesdropping on us, I'm going to tell mom!
See also: eavesdrop, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

eavesdrop on someone

to listen in on people having a private conversation. I saw her eavesdropping on them. Please don't eavesdrop on me.
See also: eavesdrop, on

eavesdrop on something

to listen in on a private conversation. She was eavesdropping on their conversation. Maria was eavesdropping on the telephone call.
See also: eavesdrop, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Individuals who have failed to take steps to encrypt their phones could have their communications sent to such eavesdropping simulators.
The main channel must be less noisy than the eavesdropping channel and the eavesdropping channel is a general binary-input symmetricoutput memory less channel, which can hardly be true in the real wireless communications environment [6].
In September 2014 Erdoy-an told journalists: "I'll tell you there is no such thing, for a country with a strong intelligence organization, as not eavesdropping on various countries in the world.
elimination of stored electronic communications from the eavesdropping
The Illinois Bar Association, the Illinois Press Association, National Press Photographers Association and the American Civil Liberties Union have challenged the eavesdropping law.
"The Illinois Eavesdropping Statute potentially punishes as a felony a wide array of wholly innocent conduct," Judge Stanley Sacks noted in his decision.
This report overviews federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping and the procedures they establish for law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering purposes, with citations to related state statutory provisions.
Akapo states that he has been spending a lot of time explaining the facts relating to eavesdropping to people inquiring about their eavesdropping detection, or "TSCM" (technical surveillance countermeasures) services.
"Borisov has been led on to accuse Yovchev in unprofessionalism and to blame him for the eavesdropping scandal," the leader of the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party, Ivan Kostov, said on Thursday.
The lawmakers will also debate a draft law to toughen penalties for eavesdropping or reading other people's mails without their permission.
On December 8, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Stephenson County, finding that the defendant's proposed policy of operating audio-recording equipment in special-education classrooms violated section 14-2(a)(1) of the Illinois Criminal Code (hereinafter the Illinois Eavesdropping Act or Act).
This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping. It also appends citations to state law in the area and contains a bibliography of legal commentary as well as the text of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
YOUNG sparrows learn to sing by eavesdropping on adult birds, scientists have revealed.
A Missouri court has held that radio broadcasts from cordless telephones are not wire communications, and thus, recording such radio broadcasts is not illegal under the eavesdropping statute.
Adversaries can detect radars, satellites, reconnaissance planes, scouts, and ships, but they tend to believe in their "unbreakable codes." Eavesdropping on "secure" communications will always be the best source of intelligence, and special handling of such eavesdropping will always be required.