Audio Recording Without Consent

I heard this mentioned in another thread and I wanted clarification:

Is it illegal to record someone’s voice without them knowing it?

It depends; To the best of my knowledge, if you’re talking about a telephone conversation, if at least one of the parties is aware of the recording, it isn’t illegal.

However, I could be wrong, and the law may vary from state to state.

Linda Trip is on trial for recording conversations without Monica’s knowledge. Surely Linda knew the conversations were being recorded.

Uh-oh. Conflicting answers. Maybe the law’s different from place to place… What I’m interested in is the law that applies to me and I live in Ontario, Canada.

Why do I get the funny feeling this refers to Ontario, New York?

Lots of info here, but I’m afraid it’s all stateside.

Sorry, pal; best I could do tonight.

The law does vary from state to state. Linda Tripp happened to record in a state where both parties have to agree. In some states, only one party has to agree.

–I recall that the trial had to take place in a STATE court (I believe Maryland), not Federal.

I’m not sure what brought up Ontario, N.Y., but I grew up in the town next door. Now I have got to tell this story.

There is a water tower in that town with the letters “ONTARIO” painted on it. Some brave soul climbed up the tower one night and painted on a big B and an L at the front of it and added a few extra lines to the N, T and I. Voilà! “BLOWFARTO”. It was there for weeks or months before it was painted over. IIRC, the prank was repeated at least once more.

Hahahahaha! BLOWFARTO!!

Oh god… (wipes tear…) That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard today (pathetic, isn’t it? I need more humour in my life). The saddest thing I’ve heard today, however, is that a friend’s cat died. She didn’t really seem to care much and she actually started to laugh as she described how the poor creature broke its neck…

Anyways… Doesn’t anyone know anything about the Ontario, Canada laws regarding recording telephone conversations and wearing a ‘wire’(tiny recording device usually attached to clothing)?

Speaking of “blowfarto”, many years ago in Berkeley, CA a candidate for City Council had a big billboard just West of the university on Grove St. reading RE-ELECT JOHN DE BONIS.

One night it was changed to "RE-ERECT JOHN DE PENIS.

Thanks, Bibliophage!** That was so funny, it made my day***!***

Oh, Lord***!***

Linda is getting off.

As relvent to this thread:

State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli said the state would not be able to prove that Tripp recorded a conversation with the former White House intern in December 1997. Under Maryland law, it is illegal to record another person without that person’s knowledge and consent.

Also a revelant to this thread. My favorate graphitti in Berkeley was on the side of a hotel on University. It said in letters three feet high:


What better message for these troubled times.

I am trying again It does not look like my post worked.
Linda Tripp is getting off.

Info relevent to this thread:

Under Maryland law, it is illegal to record another person without that person’s knowledge and consent.

Info relevent to the hijacked part of the thread:

The best peice of graffiti from my stint in Berkeley was on the side of a hotel on University:



Federal law requires one party consent. Individual states can have different laws such as California with it’s 2 party consent or Washington state with it’s no parties consent.
Meaning it’s flat out illegal to record an audio conversation. Their are ways around some of these laws however,if you can prove that your life is in danger,you can in some instances make audio recordings. Check with your states Attorney Generals office before attempting same.
Same goes for Ontariario Canada (eh).

QirQ seems to be right that Federal Law requires only one party consent. That is in contradiction to the post by beatle, but then the link that beatle supplied also claims that Federal Law only requires one party consent.

Most times, it is the state law in the state where the recording occurred that governs whether it is legal or not. In the Tripp case, I believe that the recordings were made in another state than Maryland, but that Maryland decided to try to press their interests.

Here are some links to legal opinions, but it looks like I may have to update the Washingtion state info, if QirQ is right about it.

Unfortunately I’m not entirely sure about telephone calls in specific, however I do know from personal experience that it is legal in Canada to record a conversation so long as one of the individuals directly involved in the conversation is aware of the recording. I do not believe this varies from province to Province, but hey - who knows!?

Geez man, the picture that sentance suggests is not something I ever wanted to see.


Well, it appears what I’m about to do is illegal, but guess what? I’m doin it anyways! Thanks for all the info, though. Now I know I’ll have to be careful and not get caught! :wink:

Here is a legal method to record telephone conversations.
There are companies in the yellow pages that offer this kind of service,you just have to ferret them out.It goes like this. You pay for an 800 phone number that is located in a state (such as Nevada) that has only one party consent.
Now this “answering service” doesn’t actually answer the call ,but records it while it call forwards it back to your home/office number.
You just give your target the 800 number and say “here call me anytime”. And for free no less. Now admittedly you do pay for the 800 number and the “service” but you do get back out of state legally recorded one party consent tapes.
Cheaper than a lawsuit, consult with your lawyer just to be sure.

Years ago, the judge in the Tripp trial once tossed me in jail for trying to buy a beer at a concert with a fake ID. She’s a hard ass, but now my Kevin Bacon seven degrees of separation game has been expanded exponentially.