Eavesdropping/Recording Laws


Sent to me from a family member. Interesting reading. Check your state laws out.

:-k I wonder if this will be a concideration for which state will host next year’s convention :smiley:

Convention, who says there is going to be a convention nexy year…

Well, if there is a convention how about having it at at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre (2.4 km²) dairy farm in Bethel, New York :smiley:



[li][SIZE=1]Consent of all parties is required. [/li][li]Civil damages are available.[/li][li]Cellular and cordless telephone communications are protected by state law. [/ul][/li]


Florida’s statute makes it illegal to intentionally intercept, attempt to intercept or have someone else intercept on your behalf any wire, electronic or oral communication through the use of a device. It is also illegal to intentionally use, attempt to use or have someone else use “any electronic, mechanical, or other device” to intercept an oral communication when the device transmits by radio or by a signal through “a wire, cable, or other like connection” used in wire communication. Interception is not illegal if one has the prior consent of all parties, unless it is done for the purpose of committing a criminal act.
It is illegal to intentionally use, disclose, or attempt to use or disclose the contents (any information concerning the substance, purport or meaning) of a communication if one knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through unlawful interception.

The statute requires a reasonable expectation of privacy for oral communications. To be protected, an oral communication must be uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that the communication is not subject to interception, under circumstances that justify that expectation. It specifically does not mean any “public oral communication uttered at a public meeting.”
The Florida statute excludes the radio portion of a cordless telephone signal from its definition of a “wire communication,” but the state supreme court in 1995 ruled that cordless telephone conversations are “oral communications” and are therefore protected by the law.
It is legal to intercept any radio communication that is transmitted by any governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile or public safety communications system, including police and fire department systems, that is readily accessible to the general public. “Readily accessible” means, among other things, that the communication is not scrambled or encrypted. Interception of amateur, citizens band and general mobile radio services communications is also legal. Cellular telephone communications are protected by the statute; a first-offense interception is a misdemeanor.

It is illegal to possess any electronic, mechanical or other type of device designed and primarily useful for illegal interception. Such devices are subject to seizure and forfeiture.
Criminal and civil penalties
In general, violation is a third-degree felony, but some first offenses are punished as misdemeanors. Depending on prior record, purpose and commercial gain, punishment can range anywhere from 60 days in jail and a $500 fine to five years in jail and a fine of $5,000 or three times the monetary amount gained or lost.
Someone whose communication is illegally intercepted, disclosed or used can sue for equitable relief, such as an injunction, and for either actual damages or statutory damages calculated at $100 a day for each day of violation or $1,000, whichever is higher. Punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs are also available. The statute of limitations on civil action is two years after the date when “the claimant first has a reasonable opportunity to discover the violation.”

Florida Statutes Sections 934.01 to 934.05, 934.10, 934.31 (1997); State v. Mozo, 655 So.2d 1115 (Fla. 1995).

reasonable expectation of privacy

Joe - I have been involved in recording of audio and video for 50 plus years. Radio equipment, tape recorders, baby monitors, telephone bugs etc.

The laws are quite clear. If you think that someone COULD be recording you with a body bug - then you are NOT having a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you ask the person to undress and go into YOUR bath room with you for a chat, you have an expectation of privacy. Here is the general deal - a recording is like another person at a meeting that can’t put a slant on the meeting. These recording are in general are TRUTH

Here is where recording becomes a BIG sin and in most cases a real big sin.

Where medical information is collected and not guarded
Where employment information - SSN etc. is not protected
Where “trade secrets” are leaked in violation of contract agreements

Do you think that a local PD department should be required to tell you that you are on DASH cam when you are stopped? Oh and by the way you have to agree to it. That recording is also to protect you with truth.

The funny thing about laws - they look like they say one thing and in reality they say something else.

As a side note - If you make a phone call over a business phone system incoming or out going NO consent of either party is required. My phone is a business phone.

In the radio area we do have some problems about public access. In the good old USA we have a very open system. No or very little censorship. The government does not control the content of the airwaves. We can listen to "Radio Free Whoever " with out it being jammed. One does not have to get permission from the government to get a radio receiver. This is one of the “rights” that we have in the USA.

Problems come when you go to a music concert and tape the radio signals from the wireless mikes that the performers are using - Baby monitors that are not monitoring babes - the radio equipment at McDonnell’s - banks - etc. Do wireless mikes hooked to recorders change the rules of recorders used by them selves?

In short an exectation of privacy is to be expected if you are talking to your lawyer and that is about it.

BTW I can bug someone by sending them a potted plant, a XMAS gift, and the list goes on. And these items are not mfg for bugging which is illegal

Trust me an expectation of privacy in this day and age is not like it was yesterday. Just do not say something today that you will be sorry about tomorrow