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electronic surveillance legality -- was Mains powered very low power transmitter

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Rob Votin, Aug 18, 2005.

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  1. Rob Votin

    Rob Votin Guest

    could anyone tell me what the actuall law (in the US anyway) is
    regarding "covert listening" i.e. a listening bug type device?

    I seem to recall something about it being illegal only if both parties
    in the conversation are unaware that they are being recorded (but I
    could be totally wrong).

    For instance, what if you record conversations between yourself and
    another person on your own telephone? Or if you plant a "bug" inside
    your own home to listen/record yourself and a guest? Is that illegal?

    I'm sure we all have strong *opinions* about this, but could anyone
    tell me what the actual *law* is? Thanks a bunch!
  2. From Wikipedia,

    "Under United States federal law and most state laws there is nothing
    illegal about one of the parties to a telephone call recording the
    conversation, or giving permission for calls to be recorded or permitting
    their telephone line to be tapped. However, several states (i.e.,
    California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts,
    Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington)
    require that all parties consent when one party wants to record a telephone

    There is quite a bit more info to be had on this particular topic by
    Googling "phone tap state law" (without the quotes).
  3. blarggstar

    blarggstar Guest

    Copied straight from this URL:

    They also give reference to this

    There are two types of states where wire recording is concerned:

    A ONE PARTY STATE means one party to the telephone conversation has to
    have knowledge and give consent before the recording can legally

    In a TWO PARTY STATE, all parties must have knowledge and give consent
    before the recording can legally occur.

    "Of the 50 states, 38, as well as the District of Columbia, allow you
    to record a conversation to which you are a party without informing
    the other parties you are doing so. Federal wiretap statutes also
    permit one-party-consent recording of telephone conversations in most
    circumstances. Twelve states forbid the recording of private
    conversations without the consent of all parties. Those states are
    California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts,
    Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and

    The origin of the call (intrastate, interstate, international, etc) is
    irrelevant. The STATE laws where the recording is taking place largely
    determine the legality of the matter. So, as you can see, the
    recording of a wire conversation is legal in EVERY state provided the
    proper notifications are met.

    Having said that, here is the list of states and the type of state
    they are with regard to recording wire conversations - in other words,
    which states allow someone to secretly record a conversation without
    the other person's knowledge or consent, and which states allow
    conversations to be recorded so long as the non-recording party is
    notified and gives his or her permission to be recorded:

    Alabama: One Party
    Alaska: One party
    Arizona: One Party
    Arkansas: One Party
    California: Two Party
    Colorado: One party
    Connecticut: Two Party
    Delaware: Two Party
    District Of Columbia :One Party
    Florida: Two Party
    Georgia: One Party
    Hawaii :One Party
    Idaho: One Party
    Illinois: Two Party
    Indiana One Party
    Iowa One Party
    Kansas: One Party
    Kentucky One party
    Louisiana One Party
    Maine: One Party
    Massachusetts Two Party
    Maryland Two Party
    Michigan Two party
    Minnesota One Party
    Mississippi One Party
    Missouri: One Party
    Minnesota: One Party
    Montana: Two-party
    Nebraska: One Party
    Nevada: One Party
    New Hampshire Two Party
    New Jersey: One Party
    New Mexico: One Party
    New York: One Party
    North Carolina: One Party
    North Dakota One Party
    Oklahoma: One Party
    Oregon One Party
    Ohio One Party
    Pennsylvania Two Party
    Rhode Island: One Party
    South Carolina One Party
    South Dakota: One Party
    Tennessee One Party
    Texas One Party
    Utah One Party
    Vermont One Party
    Virginia One Party
    West Virginia: One Party
    Washington Two Party
    Wisconsin One Party
    Wyoming: One party
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