Posts in Wiretapping.
Posted in Wiretapping

In two recent posts, linked here and here, we discussed wiretapping arrests for videotaping or recording the police. One of the potential results of such an arrest is a Section 1983 lawsuit based, in part, on a violation of the arrestee’s First Amendment rights. It is in these cases that the “right to record the police” has been most directly confronted by the courts. 

As discussed below, in some cases courts have looked favorably on such claims, while in others cases they have not.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dealt with the issue in the recent case Kelly ... Read More 

Posted in Wiretapping

In an earlier post, we began analyzing whether there is a recognized “right to record the police.” We looked at judicial decisions in Maryland and in Illinois involving each state’s wiretapping statute. In this post, we examine a decision issued in 2007 by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Jean v. Massachusetts State Police.

Jean presents a slightly different twist on wiretapping prosecution cases than those we examined earlier. In Jean, a political activist posted a videotape on the Internet of a warrantless search of a private residence by the state police. The videotape ... Read More 

Posted in Wiretapping

According to one recent judicial opinion, Ickes v. Borough of Bedford (W.D. Pa. Dec. 3, 2010), "the issue of police officers arresting citizens for recording them in public has recently been brought to the forefront of the cultural Zeitgeist." From the “don’t taze me, bro” video to lesser known incidents, YouTube and other video content sharing sites are rife with examples of recorded videos of interactions between police and arrestee/detainees. Moreover, the “right” to record or film police officers has received much attention in the news media and the ... Read More 

Posted in Wiretapping

The FCC today issued an order finding a broadcaster apparently liable for a $4,000 fine for broadcasting telephone conversations without giving prior notice of its intention to do so.   This order provides some important lessons for reporters who may want to incorporate actual telephone conversations into their broadcast packages.

Television and radio stations, as FCC licensees, are subject to a rule prohibiting the broadcast of telephone conversations without prior notice.  Section 73.1206 provides:

Before recording a telephone conversation for broadcast, or ...


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