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Thread: Digital audio recorder in pocket earns man wiretapping charges

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    I know that some folks, likeat least one guy in Virgina,like to carry digital recorders/cameras to tape encounters with LEO's so they have evidence after the incident. Does anyone here in CT carry a recording device to record incounters with LEO? If so would you, or do you inform them if they stop you? A guy up in MA got charged for recordinga non gunincident without informing the other parties. He had the recording device in his pocket.

    http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/150820
    Digital audio recorder in pocket earns man wiretapping charges
    Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:36PM EDT
    Got a digital voice recorder like one of these? Watch out how you use it or you could land yourself in scorching legal trouble. One man recently found that out the hard way, after he was arrested and discovered to be recording the goings-on with just such a device in his pocket. Not only is he now facing charges for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and trespassing, he's also charged with unlawful wiretapping and possessing a device for wiretapping.

    The story goes that one Chi Quang Truong was embroiled in a dispute with a Massachusetts auto service center, which didn't repair his car as quickly as Truong wanted. Truong got into a verbal scuffle with the service shop and the police were called. Apparently Truong was recording all of this –– for reasons unknown –– using a device stowed in his pocket, and cops added the wiretapping charges to his rap sheet during his arrest.

    But wait a second: Don't you need a wire to get charged with wiretapping? I thought so too, and the theory here is that since Truong didn't have explicit permission to record the conversation (memories of Linda Tripp), he was slapped with the additional charges. In 12 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington) you're required to get the permission of all parties on the line before making any kind of recording. In the rest of the country, any single member that's part of the conversation can legally record it without consent from the other parties. And as Network World notes, wiretapping laws largely extend to in-person communications now, so no wire is required.

    Still, does the punishment really fit the crime? Wiretapping is a class D felony, and that can mean (based on my admittedly limited understanding of criminal statutes) up to 12 years in prison. While Truong is unlikely to face anything that severe (and, in all probability, will have the wiretapping charges dropped as his prosecution progresses), he probably shouldn't be facing charges for any of this. And "possession of a wiretapping device"? Yikes. Even my iPhone has a voice recorder feature built in. I'm in possession of such a device any time I step out in public.

    Check your own pockets, briefcase, purse, or backpack: You might be a criminal!

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    California is a single person consent state. If ANY person engaging in the conversation knows that it is being recorded, no other consent is needed.



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    That's not true. Cali is 2 party consent over the phone. MA is the ONLY state I have come across that makes it a crime to record someone in public. In some places you need consent. In other mere notification.

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    codename_47 wrote:
    That's not true. Cali is 2 party consent over the phone. MA is the ONLY state I have come across that makes it a crime to record someone in public. In some places you need consent. In other mere notification.
    Virginia is a one party notice state and you may be that one party.

    That is why so many of us here carry digital recorders - it keeps everybody honest.

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Virginia is a one party notice state and you may be that one party.
    Cite, please.


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Twelve states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Be aware that you will sometimes hear these referred to inaccurately as “two-party consent” laws. If there are more than two people involved in the conversation, all must consent to the taping.

    http://expertpages.com/news/taping_conversations.htm

    BTW - No just having a recorder, cell phone or MP3 is not prima facia evidence of wiretapping. That is ludicrous.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Citizen wrote:
    Grapeshot wrote:
    Virginia is a one party notice state and you may be that one party.
    Cite, please.
    Please note that I am a party of one and this conversation may be recorded for training purposes. For further information, please stay on line. All of our experts are busy helping others at this time. Your call will be answered in accordance with the priority assigned to it by my cat. The anticipated wait time is approximately 7 hours 49 minutes. Have a great day. We appreciate your call.



    See link in previous posting.

    Isn't it past your bed time?

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Twelve states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Be aware that you will sometimes hear these referred to inaccurately as “two-party consent” laws. If there are more than two people involved in the conversation, all must consent to the taping.

    http://expertpages.com/news/taping_conversations.htm

    BTW - No just having a recorder, cell phone or MP3 is not prima facia evidence of wiretapping. That is ludicrous.

    Yata hey
    Oh, my. That is the long way around. Here is VA's statute:

    § 19.2-62. Interception, disclosure, etc., of wire, electronic or oral communications unlawful; penalties; exceptions.

    A. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter any person who:

    1. Intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, electronic or oral communication...shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony...

    2. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for a person to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception...

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...00+cod+19.2-62




    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    My general post/link was intended to get someone started in the right direction regardless of in which state they live.

    Unless you would rather cite the applicable statutes for all 50 + DC. :P
    You could probably sell it for $4.95 + SH

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    My general post/link was intended to get someone started in the right direction regardless of in which state they live.

    Unless you would rather cite the applicable statutes for all 50 + DC. :P
    You could probably sell it for $4.95 + SH

    Yata hey
    Which is just another way of saying you didn't cite the statute requested. :P
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  11. #11
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    Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.

    On this topic I have vast experience.

    I have been charged with wiretapping in the past, and the charge was dropped.


    I have been threatened with illegal taping onseveral occasions since and never backed down or been arrested because of my decisions.

    I regularly tape situations where I believe that the conversation will NOT be properly portrayed or honestly acknowledged as to content.


    Videotape or audio tape of a situation or confrontationis the best evidence regardless of how it was obtained. I believe this, and also believe that at times, recording incidents is more powerful than using a weapon.

    I regularly carry a Sony ICD-520 Digital recorder over the visor of my vehicle and always have it accessible for situations where I believe a public official will utter false or misleading statements to me or in my presence.

    I have no fear, (if necessary), of telling a jury why Itape record specific conversations or situations,and l have no fear of leaving the decision on conviction up to them.


    I you are in my presence and don't want to be tape recorded, hang a sign around your neck to let me know.

    In particular, I recommend taping to many individuals who seek my advice, especially where it involves conversations with public officials and/or employees.How many times havewe heard " I NEVER SAID THAT" or it's a situation of "HE SAID SHE SAID".


    Remember, it was our elected politicians who wrote the laws against using the tools that keep people honest.


    I believe the right to carry and use a recording device is just as important as the right to carry a weapon.TRUST ME, SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE SCARED OF RECORDERS THAN THEY ARE OF GUNS.


    AND FOR THE RECORD, I MAINTAIN RESIDENCESINCONNECTICUT, CALIFORNIA AND FLORIDA and regularly use my tape recorderin each state. when necessary.

    Edward Peruta

    American News and Information Services






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    Edward Peruta wrote:
    snip....

    On this topic I have vast experience.

    I have been charged with wiretapping in the past, and the charge was dropped.
    Are you not an "active member of the media?" Does this not change your exposure to such laws somewhat?

    I understand that what you are suggesting is a lot like "its better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6." Still you are advocating knowingly breaking the law.

    Let's hypothesize for a minute. Supposed one of us was stopped for a traffic violation in one of the states (Ca. or Ct.) you mentioned. You are recording w/o the LEO's knowledge - the LEO is friendly, courteous, says nothing violating your sensibilities and only gives you a verbal warning - then sees your recorder and charges you with that infraction. What is your defense?

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Double post so I deleted

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    As for my defense if confronted with a criminal charge for taping with my recorder, I would begin with the fact that any audio transmitted through the air and/or generated within my hearing is open to my capturing and memorializing same by any means at my disposal.

    ANYONE has the right to record events that take place on public property as a starter, there can be no expectation of privacy if the converation is in a public place.

    Yes, this may also need to be ligigated to a decision by the courts

    Aren't we all (as posting contributors) members of the media?

    The simple fact that we GATHER INFORMATION and CONTRIBUTE/PUBLISHour information to this electronic public information, (media),source by way of theInternet is enough to justify being labeled members of the media.

    It's not your size or who you work for, it's what you do and how you do it.


    We are the media!

    Together we collectively gather information, sometimes on an exclusive basis, offer editorial comments and disseminate vast amounts of information on a daily basis and sometimes hourly basisto a very large number of people across the world.


    We are so good at what we do, that collectively we are used as a media and legal research tool for other members of the media, visited, read regularly, quoted oftenand/or referenced by many of the mainstream media outlets that are currently finding it difficult to survive economically.

    Do you really believe that this media outlet is only the people who founded it?

    This message/new board has more readers than some major RECOGNIZED/ESTABLISHED PRINT, RADIO OR TV media outlets.

    I have learned more about firearm topics on this forum thanany single media source in the country, and have received valuable information found nowhere else.

    As part of my media operations, I often notify members of the media about topics or situations found on this forum.

    As to being an active member of the media, I can only say that we are all members of the media. The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves if they thought that one had to get government approval to acquire and disseminate information to other citizens.

    The basic premise of recording a public official or event is to disseminate the audio to one or more people.

    But this is a forum for OPEN CARRY AND RELATED ISSUES, and I will limit my responses on this topic.

    We live in a time when everyone is attempting to cover their backside and may choose to lie or deny facts to do so.

    I believe that you may get in a jam if you record on private property and I mean very private property, excluding the public areas of malls etc.


    I support therights of everyone under the Second Amendment by practicing and defending my rightsunder the First Amendment.

    The recognition I currently enjoy as an active member of the media is a storyyou wouldn't believe, but I am whatI am and do what I do. And I ama member of the Media known to many in the mainstream of the profession.

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    Edward Peruta wrote:
    Snip....
    I have learned more about firearm topics on this forum than on single media source in the country, and have received valuable information found nowhere else.
    +1

    I understand your points and find them more than a little interesting. Thanks.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    bennor wrote:
    I know that some folks, likeat least one guy in Virgina,like to carry digital recorders/cameras to tape encounters with LEO's so they have evidence after the incident.
    It's not just one guy. A lot of us VA OC'ers carry audio recorders. Actually, I'd go out on a limb and say the MAJORITY of us do. I'm one of the few who takes video though. It's not about setting an officer up to fail, it's an effort to keep the record straight when he said she said hearsay statements are made after the fact. ("The suspect was acting aggressively towards me and shouting obscenities")

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    Tenn. is a single party consent state

    It is lawful under 39-13-601 (b)(5): It is lawful under §§ 39-13-601 — 39-13-603 and title 40, chapter 6, part 3 for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication, where the person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception, unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee

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    I think most people who CC in Tennessee take issue with the idea of recording conversations, especially with law enforcement during a stop. They seem to think that it is somehow impolite to record, even when it is in your interest to do so, or they somehow think it will either make gun carriers look bad, or make things harder on you during a stop. I could be wrong, but I don't think the carrying of digital recorders in this state is as widespread as in Virginia and other parts of the country.

    it is simply in our interests to record stops--because it can be invaluable if rights are violated. Some people simply take issue with the entire idea though.

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    Doesn't Connecticut require disclousure from all parties for telephone calls only? I beleive that normal conversations (non telephone) only require consent from one party. If this is not true what statute is it covered under?

    Sec. 52-570d. Action for illegal recording of private telephonic communications. (a) No person shall use any instrument, device or equipment to record an oral private telephonic communication unless the use of such instrument, device or equipment (1) is preceded by consent of all parties to the communication and such prior consent either is obtained in writing or is part of, and obtained at the start of, the recording, or (2) is preceded by verbal notification which is recorded at the beginning and is part of the communication by the recording party, or (3) is accompanied by an automatic tone warning device which automatically produces a distinct signal that is repeated at intervals of approximately fifteen seconds during the communication while such instrument, device or equipment is in use.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:

    (1) Any federal, state or local criminal law enforcement official who in the lawful performance of his duties records telephonic communications;

    (2) Any officer, employee or agent of a public or private safety agency, as defined in section 28-25, who in the lawful performance of his duties records telephonic communications of an emergency nature;

    (3) Any person who, as the recipient of a telephonic communication which conveys threats of extortion, bodily harm or other unlawful requests or demands, records such telephonic communication;

    (4) Any person who, as the recipient of a telephonic communication which occurs repeatedly or at an extremely inconvenient hour, records such telephonic communication;

    (5) Any officer, employee or agent of any communication common carrier who in the lawful performance of his duties records telephonic communications or provides facilities to an investigative officer or criminal law enforcement official authorized pursuant to chapter 959a to intercept a wire communication;

    (6) Any officer, employee or agent of a Federal Communications Commission licensed broadcast station who records a telephonic communication solely for broadcast over the air;

    (7) Any officer, employee or agent of the United States Secret Service who records telephonic communications which concern the safety and security of the President of the United States, members of his immediate family or the White House and its grounds; and

    (8) Any officer, employee or agent of a Federal Communications Commission broadcast licensee who records a telephonic communication as part of a broadcast network or cooperative programming effort solely for broadcast over the air by a licensed broadcast station.

    (c) Any person aggrieved by a violation of subsection (a) of this section may bring a civil action in the Superior Court to recover damages, together with costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

    (P.A. 90-305.)







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    In Connecticut, you’ll need all parties to consent to the recording of a telephone conversation in order to avoid being sued for damages. There is no mention of the recording of in-person conversations in the statute which gives that right to sue. There is, however, a Connecticut statute which makes the recording of a telephone conversation or an in-person conversation a felony unless you have the consent of at least one party to the conversation. So, one statute has civil implications, the other has criminal consequences.
    http://www.a1-hiddencamera.com/blog/?p=36

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-570d

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Dam the torpedoes full speed ahead.



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    So what's the verdict here?

    I carry a voice recorder when I OC in CT, ...must I inform those I speak with if I decide to record them?

    In public...no?

    Private property...yes?

    Are there different ruleswhen recording LEOs vs. public?



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    The law I've read applies only to those conversations taking place on the telephone. In that situation you must inform all parties.

    Someone else mentioned a law about in person conversations. I don't have the cite, but their description seemed to indicate as long as you were physically present, only one part (you) had to know about it.

    I'll see if I can find the law.

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    Here is the text of the statutes that could apply:

    Sec. 53a-189. Eavesdropping: Class D felony.

    (a) A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he unlawfully engages in wiretapping or mechanical overhearing of a conversation.

    (b) Eavesdropping is a class D felony.

    ------------------------------
    Sec. 52-570d. Action for illegal recording of private telephonic communications.

    *Has already been posted in this thread. I won't repeat here*
    By reading CGS 52-570d, it would seem very clear that except in limited circumstances, the average person cannot record a telephone conversation without notifying all parties using one of the methods in the statute.

    CGS 53a-189 simply makes it illegal to use mechanical devices to hear a conversation to which you are not a party, or by engaging in wiretapping not in line with CGS 52-570d.

    Neither of these would prohibit a person from using a, concealed or otherwise carried, recording device on their person to record conversations that could normally be heard without aid of a mechanical device.

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    gluegun wrote:
    Here is the text of the statutes that could apply:

    Sec. 53a-189. Eavesdropping: Class D felony.

    (a) A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he unlawfully engages in wiretapping or mechanical overhearing of a conversation.

    (b) Eavesdropping is a class D felony.

    ------------------------------
    Sec. 52-570d. Action for illegal recording of private telephonic communications.

    *Has already been posted in this thread. I won't repeat here*
    .....
    Neither of these would prohibit a person from using a, concealed or otherwise carried, recording device on their person to record conversations that could normally be heard without aid of a mechanical device.

    I don't see anything about "telephonic communications" posted under"Sec. 53a-189" quoted above. Did you leave something out?

    What is "mechanical overhearing of a conversation"?Is this onlytelephonic?

    How is Sec 53a-189 related to Sec. 52-570d?


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