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Court: Secret Recordings Not Illegal if No Criminal Intent Exists
/ August 19, 2010 11:40 am

New York – Secretly recording a conversation doesn’t violate the federal Wiretap Act if the recorder has no criminal intent in making the recording, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The son of a woman dying of cancer secretly recorded a conversation the family had with her about her will using his iPhone’s Recorder application.

While she died without creating a will, the son then used the recording of the family conversation to challenge his father’s claim to the estate.

The father sued in federal court in Connecticut, claiming his son violated the Wiretap Act by recording the conversation.

"Merely intending to record the plaintiff is not enough," the 2nd Circuit wrote in its decision.

"If, at the moment he hits ‘record,’ the offender does not intend to use the recording for criminal or tortious purposes, there is no violation."


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