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Thread: Where/When legal to record LEOs

  1. #1
    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Where/When legal to record LEOs

    I'm sure most of you already know your own state law regarding this issue, but for those who don't here you are.

    As long as the police officer is in public, there is no state where recording a police officer is illegal. If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:

    * California
    * Connecticut
    * Florida
    * Illinois
    * Maryland
    * Massachusetts
    * Michigan
    * Montana
    * Nevada
    * New Hampshire
    * Pennsylvania
    * Washington

    No states require consent to record video unless there is an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom or changing room.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Not sure when you would ever want to have a private conversation with a LEO when he is on duty, unless you know the guy personally. Even then, if he is doing his job while talking to you I would consider it a public conversation. If you are standing around enjoying a adult beverage together then I would lean towards it being a private conversation. If he is joining you in the enjoyment of said adult beverages that is. If he doesn't partake of adult beverages as a personal choice then it all boils down to your comfort level since LEOs are really never off duty.

    RsMO 542

    Definitions.

    542.400. As used in sections 542.400 to 542.422, the following words and phrases mean:

    (5) "Electronic, mechanical, or other device", any device or apparatus which can be used to intercept a wire communication other than:

    (a) Any telephone or telegraph instrument, equipment or facility,....blah blah blah; or

    (b) A hearing aid or similar device being used to correct subnormal hearing to not better than normal;

    (6) "Intercept", the aural acquisition of the contents of any wire communication through the use of any electronic or mechanical device, including but not limited to interception by one spouse of another spouse;

    (7) "Investigative officer" or "law enforcement officer or agency",....blah blah blah;

    (8) "Oral communication", any communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation;

    (9) "Person", any employee, or agent of this state or political subdivision of this state, and any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation;

    (10) "Prosecuting attorney", the elected prosecuting attorney of the county or the circuit attorney of any city not contained within a county;

    (11) "State", the* state of Missouri and political subdivisions of the state;

    (12) "Wire communication", any communication made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of reception including the use of such connection in a switching station furnished or operated by any person engaged as a common carrier in providing or operating such facilities for the transmission of local, state or interstate communications.

    Not being a lawyer, it "sounds" to me here in Missouri that even the one person consent rule does not apply to recording voice or video with the devices that do not transmit the recorded conversation whether private or not. Then again, many states have similar language and still prosecute folks even in one person consent states when no wire communication interception has taken place.

    I really like (5)b....no Bionic Woman hearing aids.
    Last edited by OC for ME; 03-03-2011 at 08:22 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    ...LEOs are really never off duty.
    Neither are law-abiding citizens.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    It's not really a matter of whether they are on or off-duty. It is a matter of whether they are acting under the color of law, i.e. acting as an agent of the State. If an officer is acting in an official capacity, on the clock or no, then he has no expectation of privacy.

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    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Not sure when you would ever want to have a private conversation with a LEO when he is on duty, unless you know the guy personally. Even then, if he is doing his job while talking to you I would consider it a public conversation. If you are standing around enjoying a adult beverage together then I would lean towards it being a private conversation. If he is joining you in the enjoyment of said adult beverages that is. If he doesn't partake of adult beverages as a personal choice then it all boils down to your comfort level since LEOs are really never off duty.
    I think the all party consent on the private conversation issue is more in regards to the public and maybe not as much towards LEOs. With that being said, those laws would obviously still apply in an encounter with an LEO, so you have to put it out there. Just how the laws reads.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protect our rights View Post
    I think the all party consent on the private conversation issue is more in regards to the public and maybe not as much towards LEOs. With that being said, those laws would obviously still apply in an encounter with an LEO, so you have to put it out there. Just how the laws reads.
    Washington court decisions pretty much says if they are public officials acting in public capacity they have no expectation of privacy.

    I would say that even in a Public restroom I can record since it is public, and others are or can easily be present.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Washington court decisions pretty much says if they are public officials acting in public capacity they have no expectation of privacy.

    I would say that even in a Public restroom I can record since it is public, and others are or can easily be present.
    If you get the cops called on you whilst in the restroom, then yeah go ahead and record. If the LEO is just taking care of "business" then record and have fun in court. I'm perdy sure the law is just to protect people against being recorded during private moments. it may be for the public, but it is very private. Next time you are in the restroom at Wal-Mart I will open the stall and say "Hi, what's your name?" I mean it IS a public restroom right? there is no expectation of privacy as you have said.
    Last edited by protect our rights; 03-04-2011 at 03:28 PM.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protect our rights View Post
    If you get the cops called on you whilst in the restroom, then yeah go ahead and record. If the LEO is just taking care of "business" then record and have fun in court. I'm perdy sure the law is just to protect people against being recorded during private moments. it may be for the public, but it is very private. Next time you are in the restroom at Wal-Mart I will open the stall and say "Hi, what's your name?" I mean it IS a public restroom right? there is no expectation of privacy as you have said.
    With the way the courts go these days it would be interesting to challenge this in court. 50-50 the recorder wins.
    Last edited by OC for ME; 03-05-2011 at 07:14 PM.

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    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    With the way the courts go these days it would be interesting to challenge this in court. 50-50 the recorder wins.
    Yeah that is true. You never really can tell what will happen in the court room any more. I mean when you can sue for 100,000 for someone giving you a dirty look that resulted in traumatic event, then you can get anything from some of these judges.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

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    Umm, Illinois seems to have a problem with it...

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/23/an...-resident-char

    The New York Times reports on the Illinois eavesdropping law, which allows for a felony charge and up to 15 years of prison for people who record police officers on the job.
    Apparently the ACLU is fighting it, and it seems it is OK for THEM to record YOU!!

    Also Maryland and Masachusetts are using "eavesdropping" or "wiretapping" laws as ways to arrest those videotaping teh Police.

    http://gizmodo.com/#!5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns
    Last edited by xd shooter; 03-05-2011 at 11:29 PM.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C. - http://www.rcfp.org/taping/

    State-by-state summaries
    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states.html

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    oh God, not again....were making up our own laws again?

    Quote Originally Posted by protect our rights View Post
    I'm sure most of you already know your own state law regarding this issue, but for those who don't here you are.

    As long as the police officer is in public, there is no state where recording a police officer is illegal. If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:

    <snip>
    * Washington

    No states require consent to record video unless there is an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom or changing room.
    This post is utter Bravo Sierra

    All these posts from pepople pretending to set everyone else straight conveniently NEVER CITE THE LAW.

    If any of you CAN READ, read for yourselves instead of getting false and misleading info from these keyboard jockeys.

    READ THE LAW:

    Federal:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...1----000-.html

    " (2)(d) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State."

    IOW, there is NO FEDERAL PROHIBITION WHATSOEVER, OF ANY KIND, as long as CRIMINAL INTENT/ACTIONS are not there.

    State:
    WA (go to YOUR State Legislatures website and READ your States Code for YOURSELF)

    Revised Code: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.73.030

    Intercepting, recording, or divulging private communication — Consent required — Exceptions.


    (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or the state of Washington, its agencies, and political subdivisions to intercept, or record any:

    (a) Private communication transmitted by telephone, telegraph, radio, or other device between two or more individuals between points within or without the state by any device electronic or otherwise designed to record and/or transmit said communication regardless how such device is powered or actuated, without first obtaining the consent of all the participants in the communication;

    (b) Private conversation, by any device electronic or otherwise designed to record or transmit such conversation regardless how the device is powered or actuated without first obtaining the consent of all the persons engaged in the conversation.

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, wire communications or conversations (a) of an emergency nature, such as the reporting of a fire, medical emergency, crime, or disaster, or (b) which convey threats of extortion, blackmail, bodily harm, or other unlawful requests or demands, or (c) which occur anonymously or repeatedly or at an extremely inconvenient hour, or (d) which relate to communications by a hostage holder or barricaded person as defined in RCW 70.85.100, whether or not conversation ensues, may be recorded with the consent of one party to the conversation."

    Now that you know what the LAW says (Fed and WA in particular), here's whats wrong with this post:

    OP wrote:

    "As long as the police officer is in public, there is no state where recording a police officer is illegal. If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:"

    "
    "As long as the police officer is in public"

    NEITHER USC 18 or RCW 9 say ANYTHING about "police in public" READ THEM. The LAWS are in place to prevent POLICE AND GOVERNMENT from wiretapping and infringing on Citizens rights, they DO NOT exist to protect the Police.

    "If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:""

    READ THE LAWS. Do they say that? NO.

    WA Law makes no specification for ORAL COMMUNICATIONS, contrary to what the "expert" here is posting. WA LAW says "transmitted...by device" and that is NOT oral communications.

    WA LAW does not require notification in certain cases, contrary to what the "expert" here is posting.

    "No states require consent to record video unless there is an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom or changing room"

    WA law doesnt seem to say that! But OP knows more than anyone else, eh? READ THE LAW. WA RCW limits itself to "(a) private communications... between individuals...between points" and "(b) conversations"

    We have enough people in Gummint and the Corporations trying to take our Rights away, the LAST thing needed are idiots posting here pretending to know what theyre talking about HELPING THEM.

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    Read up on "expectation of privacy." When folks say "in public," they are referring to places where one has no expectation of privacy. By way of a stark example, user (a practicing attorney) posted that it is perfectly lawful to slap a recorder up under a bench in public and record what those sitting on the bench think is a "private" conversation without their knowledge or consent. The key is that their "private" conversation is not private! It is public; they have no expectation of privacy.

    Do you think that a LEO in the official execution of his authority in full view of the public has any more of an "expectation of privacy"??

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    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capn Camo View Post
    This post is utter Bravo Sierra

    All these posts from pepople pretending to set everyone else straight conveniently NEVER CITE THE LAW.

    If any of you CAN READ, read for yourselves instead of getting false and misleading info from these keyboard jockeys.

    READ THE LAW:

    Federal:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...1----000-.html

    " (2)(d) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State."

    IOW, there is NO FEDERAL PROHIBITION WHATSOEVER, OF ANY KIND, as long as CRIMINAL INTENT/ACTIONS are not there.

    State:
    WA (go to YOUR State Legislatures website and READ your States Code for YOURSELF)

    Revised Code: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.73.030

    Intercepting, recording, or divulging private communication — Consent required — Exceptions.


    (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or the state of Washington, its agencies, and political subdivisions to intercept, or record any:

    (a) Private communication transmitted by telephone, telegraph, radio, or other device between two or more individuals between points within or without the state by any device electronic or otherwise designed to record and/or transmit said communication regardless how such device is powered or actuated, without first obtaining the consent of all the participants in the communication;

    (b) Private conversation, by any device electronic or otherwise designed to record or transmit such conversation regardless how the device is powered or actuated without first obtaining the consent of all the persons engaged in the conversation.

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, wire communications or conversations (a) of an emergency nature, such as the reporting of a fire, medical emergency, crime, or disaster, or (b) which convey threats of extortion, blackmail, bodily harm, or other unlawful requests or demands, or (c) which occur anonymously or repeatedly or at an extremely inconvenient hour, or (d) which relate to communications by a hostage holder or barricaded person as defined in RCW 70.85.100, whether or not conversation ensues, may be recorded with the consent of one party to the conversation."

    Now that you know what the LAW says (Fed and WA in particular), here's whats wrong with this post:

    OP wrote:

    "As long as the police officer is in public, there is no state where recording a police officer is illegal. If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:"

    "
    "As long as the police officer is in public"

    NEITHER USC 18 or RCW 9 say ANYTHING about "police in public" READ THEM. The LAWS are in place to prevent POLICE AND GOVERNMENT from wiretapping and infringing on Citizens rights, they DO NOT exist to protect the Police.

    "If it is a private conversation, 12 states require all parties to consent to recording voice:""

    READ THE LAWS. Do they say that? NO.

    WA Law makes no specification for ORAL COMMUNICATIONS, contrary to what the "expert" here is posting. WA LAW says "transmitted...by device" and that is NOT oral communications.

    WA LAW does not require notification in certain cases, contrary to what the "expert" here is posting.

    "No states require consent to record video unless there is an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom or changing room"

    WA law doesnt seem to say that! But OP knows more than anyone else, eh? READ THE LAW. WA RCW limits itself to "(a) private communications... between individuals...between points" and "(b) conversations"

    We have enough people in Gummint and the Corporations trying to take our Rights away, the LAST thing needed are idiots posting here pretending to know what theyre talking about HELPING THEM.
    Why do "I" need to claim to be an expert, seems you've already got that covered. It also seems that your not that good at interpreting these laws.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

  15. #15
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    If you don't record a official LE encounter that you have you are not protecting yourself. Then again this is easy for me to say residing here in Missouri. One person consent and the statute specifically addresses electronically transmitted conversations. Though, based on the definitions used in RsMO 542-400 a PA could stretch it to mean a audio recording as we are discussing. However, I know of no case here in Missouri where a OCer was charged under this statute for recording the encounter.
    Last edited by OC for ME; 04-07-2011 at 08:17 AM.

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    Regular Member stuckinchico's Avatar
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    Record no matter what A US Suprme Court already ha ruled that police have no privacy while on duty. there is no such thing as a private conversation with them. If you record make multiple copies stored else where. this is a bully tactic that they are using. they have no grounds and a jury of 12 is all you have to worry about

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckinchico View Post
    Record no matter what A US Suprme Court already ha ruled that police have no privacy while on duty. there is no such thing as a private conversation with them. If you record make multiple copies stored else where. this is a bully tactic that they are using. they have no grounds and a jury of 12 is all you have to worry about
    Cite? I know of such a ruling in a Maryland case, but it wasn't the Supreme Court.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckinchico View Post
    Record no matter what A US Suprme Court already ha ruled that police have no privacy while on duty. there is no such thing as a private conversation with them. If you record make multiple copies stored else where. this is a bully tactic that they are using. they have no grounds and a jury of 12 is all you have to worry about
    Please cite. This is a type of ruling we need if it does exist.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  19. #19
    Regular Member stuckinchico's Avatar
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    Im looking for it i thought i had it saved somewhere

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckinchico View Post
    Im looking for it i thought i had it saved somewhere
    You are probably thinking of the Maryland case, the one where the motorcyclist was pulled over and recorded the encounter. Maryland tried to charge him with a crime for doing so. The court totally rebuked the effort, pointing out the obvious, stating that official actions by police officers interacting with the public cannot possibly (in a free society) warrant an expectation of privacy.

    I think this case is settled and won't be heading to the High Court. That does not mean the case cannot be cited to support a similar ruling in another case in another State. It simply will not be compelling. It still could (and almost surely will) be persuasive.

    The reasoning regarding an expectation of privacy is sound and universal.

  21. #21
    Regular Member stuckinchico's Avatar
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    Im not going to ask for permission regardless. YOu dont like me recording you??? You shouldnt be there then

  22. #22
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Can we tape?


    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/



    Federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most also have extended the law to cover in-person conversations.

    Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia permit individuals to record conversations to which they are a party without informing the other parties that they are doing so. These laws are referred to as “one-party consent” statutes, and as long as you are a party to the conversation, it is legal for you to record it. (Nevada also has a one-party consent statute, but the state Supreme Court has interpreted it as an all-party rule.)


    Twelve states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, 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.
    Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear.
    Federal law and most state laws also make it illegal to disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted call or communication.
    At least 24 states have laws outlawing certain uses of hidden cameras in private places, although many of the laws are specifically limited to attempts to record nudity. Also, many of the statutes concern unattended hidden cameras, not cameras hidden on a person engaged in a conversation. Journalists should be aware, however, that the audio portion of a videotape will be treated under the regular wiretapping laws in any state. And regardless of whether a state has a criminal law regarding cameras, undercover recording in a private place can prompt civil lawsuits for invasion of privacy.
    Last edited by Bill Starks; 04-17-2011 at 05:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    Can we tape?

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/

    Federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most also have extended the law to cover in-person conversations.

    Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia permit individuals to record conversations to which they are a party without informing the other parties that they are doing so. These laws are referred to as “one-party consent” statutes, and as long as you are a party to the conversation, it is legal for you to record it. (Nevada also has a one-party consent statute, but the state Supreme Court has interpreted it as an all-party rule.)


    Twelve states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, 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.
    Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear.
    Federal law and most state laws also make it illegal to disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted call or communication.
    At least 24 states have laws outlawing certain uses of hidden cameras in private places, although many of the laws are specifically limited to attempts to record nudity. Also, many of the statutes concern unattended hidden cameras, not cameras hidden on a person engaged in a conversation. Journalists should be aware, however, that the audio portion of a videotape will be treated under the regular wiretapping laws in any state. And regardless of whether a state has a criminal law regarding cameras, undercover recording in a private place can prompt civil lawsuits for invasion of privacy.
    The above fails to consider that the interactions with officers acting in their official capacity are rarely electronic or private.

    If the officer has no expectation of privacy (and, if he has terry-stopped you, he hasn't), record away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xd shooter View Post
    Umm, Illinois seems to have a problem with it...

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/23/an...-resident-char



    Apparently the ACLU is fighting it, and it seems it is OK for THEM to record YOU!!

    Also Maryland and Masachusetts are using "eavesdropping" or "wiretapping" laws as ways to arrest those videotaping teh Police.

    http://gizmodo.com/#!5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns
    Maybe they have something to hide from the public. Makes it easier for the DA and the DEA to proclaim "no evidence" of police abuse of power later on when a citizen decides to sue?

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    By way of a coincidence, one of our Alabama members was arrested last month for videotaping a stop on the side of the highway. The incident was just posted yesterday, so we are just learning about it now.

    He was charged with obstructing a government official, and the municipal trial is tomorrow.

    He was OC at the time, but the taping was not related in any way to OC. However, his OC did result in his getting drawn on. He was also told by one of the officers that, had the officer been the only one on the scene, the officer would've shot him!

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