“Man Charged With Wiretapping for Using Phone During Traffic Stop”

by Walter Olson on April 13, 2011

Another twist on the assertion that state laws against wiretapping and unauthorized recording make it unlawful to record the cops: police in the town of Weare, N.H. charged a man with wiretapping after he placed a cellphone call during a traffic stop “because the officer’s voice could be heard in the background of his phone call.” [Lowering the Bar]

{ 4 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 04.13.11 at 7:10 am

It would appear that this incident gives a lie to their state motto.

2 VMS 04.13.11 at 7:17 am

Here is the law in question: http://nhdcyf.info/rsa/570-a.html#570-A-2

A strict reading would seem to bar the police from having surveillance cameras (with audio) in their police stations or stores from having surveillance. Too bad that they are using this law to harass individuals. What happened to “live free or die?”

3 Ben Catoe 04.14.11 at 7:02 pm

Speaking as someone without any legal education, isn’t the point of wiretapping laws to prevent someone from being recorded without their knowledge. In many cases, the police know they are being recorded since THEY are also recording, therefore, they should not have a case. The fact that both parties are recording doesn’t change anything. In this particular case, it is absurd to claim that being able to overhear the officer in the background is wiretapping. By that definition, nearly every phone call in a public area is wiretapping.

4 John Fembup 04.14.11 at 8:09 pm

So THAT’s how I can shut up this very annoying guy every morning on the 6:18 out of New Haven.

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