Can You Wiretap a Federal Employee?

Full Question:

Can you record conversations with another employee at federal buildings?
01/29/2010   |   Category: Privacy   |   State: Arizona   |   #20695


The federal and state statutes that govern eavesdropping require interception of a conversation. The "interception" of a "private communication" is not merely listening to a private communication but includes the means used to "acquire" the "private communication". “Intercept” means to acquire the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device. If the person is intercepting a private conversation, the federal law provides an exemption if done under the with the terms of a court order, statutory authorization, or certification under federal wiretapping law.

It may be possible to file criminal charges or file a civil lawsuit for invasion of privacy. Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded. It encompasses workplace monitoring, Internet privacy, data collection, and other means of disseminating private information. A non-public individual has a right to privacy from: a) intrusion on one's solitude or into one's private affairs; b) public disclosure of embarrassing private information; c) publicity which puts him/her in a false light to the public; d) appropriation of one's name or picture for personal or commercial advantage.

Invasion of privacy may also include criminal charges, such as violation of wiretapping or criminal trespass statutes.

Please see the AZ statute below to determine applicability:

13-3005. Interception of wire, electronic and oral communications;
installation of pen register or trap and trace device; classification;

A. Except as provided in this section and section 13-3012, a person is
guilty of a class 5 felony who either:

1. Intentionally intercepts a wire or electronic communication to which
he is not a party, or aids, authorizes, employs, procures or permits
another to so do, without the consent of either a sender or receiver

2. Intentionally intercepts a conversation or discussion at which he is
not present, or aids, authorizes, employs, procures or permits another to
so do, without the consent of a party to such conversation or discussion.

3. Intentionally intercepts the deliberations of a jury or aids,
authorizes, employs, procures or permits another to so do.

B. Except as provided in sections 13-3012 and 13-3017, a person who
intentionally and without lawful authority installs or uses a pen register
or trap and trace device on the telephone lines or communications
facilities of another person which are utilized for wire or electronic
communication is guilty of a class 6 felony.

Please see the information at the following links:

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