Many of you may wince when you hear the above audio tape by Alec Baldwin. As you can imagine, this taped rant had a huge impact on the ongoing child custody battle with Baldwin’s former wife. Kim Bassinger.
Influenced perhaps by entertainment gossip powerhouse TMZ’s seemingly endless source of private phone call recordings, emotional conversations (such as Alec’s) we perhaps should have held back from and simply one James Bond movie too many, at some point, we have probably all wondered if our conversations via phone were being taped.
There are federal and state (all 50 and DC) statutes governing the use of electronic recording equipment. The unlawful use of recording equipment may not only give authority for civil proceedings against the perpetrator of illegal taping, but may also give rise to criminal charges.
Today’s Bulletin gets right into the meat of how and where the taping of private telephone conversations is allowed.
(It is important however, to first understand the difference between one party consent and two party or all party consent. One party consent requires that one party to the conversation have knowledge and give consent to the recording. Two party or all party consent means that every party to the conversation has knowledge and has given consent to the recording.)
States Allowing One Party Consent Recordings:
Alaska , Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
States Requiring All Party Consent Recordings:
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington
As with every rule, there is always an exception; in this case, two. In California, generally an all party consent state, one party alone can record if criminal activity (e.g. extortion) is anticipated or involved. In Arizona, the subscriber to a telephone service can record telephone conversations with no party consent when criminal activity is involved.
In Part II of this series, next week, we will cover business phone conversation, meetings and cell/wireless taps.
BNI Operatives: Street smart: Web savvy.
Be safe, be smart, be aware,