Law

Further Collisions of Old Wiretapping Laws, New Technologies, and Police Who Claim a Right to Privacy

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An Oregon Court of appeals recently ruled that a man who taped his own traffic stop in 2008 should not have been arrested for that act, even though Oregon is one of the many states with a frustratingly vague wiretapping law. (Though not one of the 12 that officially require both parties to consent.)

So says Oregonlive.com:

The Eugene Police officer who pulled over Shane Neff had already told the motorist that he was recording their interaction with his in-car patrol camera. A majority of judges ruled that was enough notice, and Neff needn't announce to the officer that his phone also was capturing their conversation…. 

[Neff's attorney said the] 33-year-old dad, was doing nothing wrong on Nov. 4, 2008 when Eugene Officer Sam Ou ran Neff's license plate through his computer, then stopped Neff because he mistakenly believed Neff had a suspended license. 

The rest of the articles goes into some of the controversies with which Reason readers might be familar, such as whether public servants have any right to privacy and how obligated are people—if they are at all—to tell police they're being recorded.

But, some recent interpretation of Oregon's law are on the side of Shane Neff and maybe courts are moving towards ruling correctly on the absurdity of treating someone skittish about the police the same as someone who is spying on their neighbor for kicks. Plus the Eugene police department's spokeswoman assures the public that people will now have to commit additional crimes before they're hauled off and arrested.

Sadly, a Florida 21-year-old man is in some trouble because his state is another one of those "two-party consent" states and cops don't always consent. Carl Paul was pulled over by police late on November 1, which he questioned, then according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Paul asked the deputies for their names while his iPhone sat on his leg. When the deputies noticed that Paul was recording the conversation, he said he was "documenting what was happening," the affidavit stated.

Paul was informed he did not have the deputies' permission to record, a violation of state law, and was arrested after he did not stop recording.

Further sources note that Paul was described as "belligerent" when he talked to the officers and that he was held on $4500 bail and charged with "illegal interception of communication."

The Miami New Times blog disdainfully suggests that arresting officers get with the times/generally accepted interpretation of the law:

While the courts have yet to make a definitive ruling on a federal level, most legal experts agree that although Florida is a "two-party consent" state for recordings, the law has a clear exception for situations where there is no "expectation of privacy"—for example, when a cop is working in the middle of a public street.

Still, depending on judicial sanity is nice, having legislative sanity cemented would be better.

Reason on the war on cameras, particularly Radley Balko's January 2011 cover features and the excellent Reason.tv video below:

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  1. How do you “violate” a law that is wrong (and unconstitutional)?

    In all cases, all-party consent is stupid.

    1. …SAY STEVE SMITH.

    2. With principle.

  2. Seeing and hearing is recording.

    1. Is a photographic memory illegal?

      1. They should make a cop show about someone with a photographic memory.

          1. For some reason I can never remember when that is on.

        1. They have a reality show called “Court” where every police officer involved has a perfect memory 100% of the time.

  3. I am positive that the ultimate solution to this issue will involve androgynous Thai sex workers. Trust me.

    1. A more modest proposal will involve the Irish.

  4. Even if there were, say, a Supreme Court decision that unequivocally struck down any and all two person consent laws, the cops would still tell people they had to stop recording all the time, just like they do now even in states where it’s explicitly legal.

    And if they really want you to stop, they arrest you for “interfering with a police investigation” or something else equally vague and abuse-able.

    This is going to be a long battle, because there’s nothing certain cops hate more than being able to be recorded and losing that ability to create whatever narrative they want of how events unfolded.

    1. You are raining on Rainbow Puppy Island.

    2. …that we’ll FINALLY win 10,004 years after it started in the Sumerian city-State (civilization.)

      Really, we-we-we-we’re gonna win.

      Right after HayZeus H. Christ returns in glory.

      1. HI RECTAL IT’S COOTER SURE WAS A PURTY DAY TODAY WASN’T IT?

        1. We’re 5 years from winning. Really. Maybe 10 at the outside. I’m trying to give you hope, Episiarch, and you just go raging like a bad cop. Maybe it’ll take 15 if you don’t straighten up. 20?

          1. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT ALL THAT, MISS RECTAL, BUT I GOT THE NEW TWILIGHT MOVIE AND WAS WONDERIN’ IF YOU’D CARE TO WATCH IT WITH ME TONIGHT? I CAN MAKE POPCORN! COOTER’S SPECIAL POPCORN!

            1. …something else equally vague and abuse-able.

              Plus a side dish of Stanford Prison Experiment. You seem like an example of the 1/3 who quickly showed sadistic tendencies.

              1. I NEVER BEEN TO PRISON, MISS RECTAL! COOTER’S JUST A BIG OLD PUPPY DOG WHO NEVER HURT NOBODY! SO WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE, MISS RECTAL? IF YOU’RE TOO BUSY I CAN SAVE IT FOR ANOTHER NIGHT!

                  1. …atrocious.

                    1. HI RECTAL! COOTER HERE! I JUST BAKED FRESH GINGER SNAPS, WANT TO COME OVER AND TRY SOME?!

        2. epi, when the sun shines or wind blows in your face, do you say rather did it?

          JW,
          rather

          1. BTW, I would fuck STEVE SMITH on video before I would ever sit beside you anywhere.

            1. AW SHUCKS, MISS RECTAL, WHAT DID COOTER DO TO MAKE YOU MAD? I SURE AM SORRY! MAYBE THESE SWAMP FLOWERS I PICKED FOR YOU WILL MAKE YOU LESS SORE AT ME?

  5. The answer is to require all cops to wear minicams at all times. After all, the bank records every call. Why not pigs?

    1. Because when cops wear them they will just happen to be “broken” or “out of service” or the cop will have “forgotten to turn it on” or the video will be “lost” or “hacked”.

      The only solution is citizen recordings.

      1. Yep. If powers are derived from the governed, we can if they can.

        And you don’t want to end up in a situation like with the FBI. Their interview notes of what you said count as if you actually said them. If you materially contradict them in court, that’s perjury!

  6. there’s nothing certain cops hate more than being able to be recorded and losing that ability to create whatever narrative they want of how events unfolded

    Well, there’s not finding out about the recording until after they’ve turned in their reports and given their press conferences.

    At times like that your only salvation is having been reasonably honest.

    1. And lots of cops routinely get exonerated when complaints are made, because of recordings whether taken by the cops or bystanders. I know of two officers in my dept. recently who were completely exonerated of false complaints because of recordings. GOOD HONEST COPS should support video and audiotaping

      Period. Full stop

      1. GOOD HONEST COPS

        Yeah…both of them.

        1. Dunphy is a triplet?

          1. WHAT’S A TRIPLET MISS RECTAL?

  7. Are they allowed to have dash-cams in two party consent states, and do they need permission to film you with one if they are?

    1. …you’re little people

      1. Please don’t speak to me.

        1. …TALK TO MEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GAMBOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. I don’t know who you are you’re not cop… + Please, please…. but I am having a capitol l / please don’t talk to me party -the theme: bitchy mimes!

    2. Depends. In my state, admin law says in most cases cops must advise if they are auditing, but numerous exceptions, since the argument is most cop-citizen encounters are not “private conversation”. A cop was unsuccessfully prosecuted for audiotaping somebody w/o consent. Ditto, a person recording a cop. The law is two party,but the case law says does not apply for reasons mentioned. Cops on dv’s or traffic stops are not engaged in a “private conversation” goes the logic . I ws recorded four times recently that I know of. Cause people told me. I am sure many times I was beng recorded and I was not aware. Good.

      1. Iirc, the case was a trooper. The criminal law says two party consent on private conversations. He didn’t advise. The criminal case was thrown out because it wasn’t private. The admin law said he still hash to advise. Court said it was not binding. Also , r,ember generally speaking, it two people are talking loudly enough so bystanders can clearly here, two party consent laws don’t apply, since the conversation is obviously a public one

  8. “You have no right to record me while I beat your face in.”

    1. That’s what everybody says about the Trail of Tears. How does that work? Just forget about it and move on? Nothing to see here?

      1. …some Trail of Tears.

        1. … tasty, tasty tears?

    2. GOSH MISS RECTAL, THAT DON’T SOUND NICE. WHY’D YOU WANNA DO SUCH A THING?

      1. Fuck, BakedPenguin! Did epi give you a case of paranoia epiranoia along with that cold sore?

        1. YOU’RE CONFUSING ME AGAIN MISS RECTAL. DON’T YOU LIKE ME?

  9. When Mr. Policeman asks,
    “who do you work for?”
    the correct answer might be,
    “Your wife’s lawyer.”

    1. …not so much a good idea. ~martha stewart

      1. NOPE. LYING’S A BAD IDEER MISS RECTAL. I NEVER COULD GIT AWAY WITH IT NONE.

  10. Love the POLIS (city-State.*)

    Hate the POLICe (city-State aggression enforcers who protect and serve what the State has invaded and occupies.)

    It’s like loving jets, but hating the noise.

    How’s that working out?

    No wonder E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. called schizophrenia a disease of civilization in his book Schizophrenia and Civilization.**
    __________________
    * Polis is often translated as “city-state.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polis
    ** Torrey, EF. Schizophrenia and Civilization. New York, NY: Jason Aronson, 1980. quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=acls;idno=heb02208

    1. …you could have jets without noise. Simple as that.

      1. …are very noisy.

        1. …always ignore the very real trend that jets are becoming less and less noisy. We’ll achieve a noiseless jetiety when enough people believe in noiseless jets.

          1. …love to lie.

    2. I’m just sort of disappointed you went to the trouble of footnotes, but one of them is to wikipedia. And your formatting is atrocious.

      1. …when you need a real prick of an spelling/editor nazi.

        Yeah, I know, no wiki for college papers.

        So are you going to comment on Episiarch’s flaming bullshit ^^up there^^? Or does that suit your fancy just fine? hmmm?

        1. FLAMIN? IS THERE SOMETHING ON FAHR, MISS RECTAL? THIS THREAD SUITS MAH FANCY JUST FINE, THANK YOU!

        2. …love to lie.

          1. Hmm, wasn’t me again Mr. Baked Penguin but I agree with the sentiments expressed. Though, I would have said it my way:

            My dear Miss Lucy Steigerwald,
            Epi is a piece of shit. BTW, be careful who you trust,

            Regards, rather

            1. GOLLY MISS RECTAL, DO YOU THINK THAT KINDA LANGUAGE IS APPROPRITE? CHILDREN MIGHT HEAR! THERE’S NO CURSIN’ IN TWILIGHT, I HEAR! WHEN YOU WANNA WATCH IT?

    3. …suck at metaphors.

    4. WI’s favorite tool of the state, and would-be frontal lobotomist if he could get away with it.

  11. Quite a few of the details associated with this write-up are good nevertheless had me wondering

  12. I believe that the law is fair, the police should abide by the law, the society will be more harmony.
    http://www.igegolds.com

  13. I believe that the law is fair, the police should abide by the law, the society will be more harmony. Let’s focus on it.

    1. Grass mud horse, Chinese spam-bot!

  14. We comment. Because we can.

  15. STOP FEEDING IT!

    1. To be Objectified is to be Dehumanized.

      Nice how “it” works.

      Denying human nature to others represents them as objects or automata. This form of dehumanization, meant to degrade and humiliate, can therefore be described as mechanistic.

      Remember, libertarians:

      The whole world is watching.

      The whole world is watching.

      1. Nobody cares.

        Nobody cares.

        1. …libertarian — and communist and more — anyway.

          Parasite. Rotter. Moocher. Running dog. Capitalist Pig. Jap. Chink. Nigger. Wop. It.

          Nobody cares: True.

          All part of the key problem of Mass Society: Dunbar’s Number.

          Wally: “I’ve decided to dabble in crime. I need some henchmen. Are you in?”
          Asok: “What does a henchman do?”
          Wally: “A henchman’s job is to be gunned down in reverse order to his importance.”
          Asok: “How important am I?”
          Wally: “I wouldn’t pack a lunch for orientation day.”
          ? Dilbert, strip for May 12, 2009

          1. …WI.

          2. White Indian, please leave me alone.

            Kthanxbai!

          3. Hmm, I love that book; I see you read my site, my little troublemaker Indian.

            What makes me sad is not the silly repetitive remarks but their collective instruction – they cannot think as individuals.

            I admit is is an enigma because I don’t believe most libertarians to be stupid, only foolish.

            1. …say something entertaining.

            2. GOSH MISS RECTAL, COOTER DON’T REALLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT NO POLITICS. READY FOR TWILIGHT?

          4. …dehumanize others.

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              1. rather|11.2.11 @ 11:21PM|#

                Epi is a piece of shit.

                1. Don’t confuse an echo with a song

                  1. HI RECTAL ITS COOTER I WAS THINKIN ABOUT YOU WHILE I WAS MUDDIN TODAY AND I SAW A PRETTY FLOWER BUT I RAN OVER IT BUT HERE I DUG IT OUT OF THE MUD AND I SAVED IT AND ID LIKE YOU TO HAVE IT. HERE!

                    1. Warty my dear, can’t you keep ignoring me

                      Did you lose this?

                    2. HI RECTAL I JST WANT U TO HAVE THIS PRETTY FLOWER HERE AS A TOKEN OF MY ESTEEM. MY MOMMA SHE SAYS U AINT GOOD ENUFF FOR ME BUT SHE DONT KNOW U LIKE I DO SO ILL JUST LEAVT HIS FLOWER HERE AND ILL SEE YOU TOMORROW OK GOODNIGHT MISS RECTAL.

      2. The whole world is watching.

        Yes they are. Most nights, [insert country here] Idol.

  16. This thread is a more valuable lesson to never blog this late than anything a senior editor could say.

    1. I’m sorry for this unfortunate experience, Ms. Steigerwald.

    2. “This thread is a more valuable lesson to never blog this late than anything a senior editor could say.”

      Uh, what?

      1. …apparently cannot read.

    3. How do they work?

      Can anybody do it?

      This software cannot.

      http://1aiway.com/nlp4net/services/enparser/

    4. No, this thread is a valuable lesson that our resident no-life troll needs to be evicted from the website.

    5. I’m afraid, beloved contributor Ms. Steigerwald, that the problem is not confined to the night.

  17. Any cop who is not willing to be video and or audio taped in public should hang up their badge. Granted, many jurisdictions facilitate this shit by stupid laws, …. Regardless, any cop should assume they can be audiotaped or video’d in any call they go to, or thing they do in public. Cops should also have the same right to video and or audiotape from their POV as well. Win/win. Bad cops outed. Good cops protected. False complaints punished

  18. With you there, dunphy.

  19. Plus the Eugene police department’s spokeswoman assures the public that people will now have to commit additional crimes before they’re hauled off and arrested.

    The cops coming up with extra charges in order to meet an arrest requirement? I some how think that won’t be much of a problem. So instead of being hauled in with some bogus ass charge of wiretapping, it’ll now be people being hauled in for wiretapping, resisting arrest, and just about anything else they can drum up.

  20. I think when I get up tomorrow I’ll restart the ol’ Mohammed’s-conflicted-relationship-with-internet-porn series, just to see some shit get deleted.

    ? Series 2, Episode 1 ?
    in which “sheep fuck” is Googled by The Prophet
    again

  21. WELL, it’s a good way to reduce the traffic accident.

      1. WHY DON’T YOU LOVE COOTER MISS RECTAL? COOTER JUST WANTS TO TAKE CARE OF YOU!

  22. This threat is a more malleable jetsam to fever blog this latte than many things a senile editor cloud spray.

    MAKES SENSE TO ME

    1. 1+

  23. Let’s see, public figures who are doing a public job at taxpayer expense are entitled to privacy, but private citizens, minding their own business are not. What a fucking country.

  24. Here’s the full version of the Lucy song. Other editors might have songs, too, if they scanned as well with “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” “Nick in the Sky with Jackets” was a possibility, I admit.

    I dedicate this truth to my uncle and patron, the Baron Warty.

    Picture yourself on a blog on a server,
    With libertine sleaze and a colonnade guise.
    Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
    A girl who likes the wrong Enterprise.

    Silver screen mentions of Star Trek and Dune,
    Towering over your head.
    Look for the girl with Reason in her eyes,
    And she’s gone.

    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Ahh. . .ahh.

    Follow her frown ’bout rights infringed by some morons,
    Where no-knocking force people seek a drug warrior prize.
    Everyone smiles as you sniff at cop powers,
    That grow so incredibly high.

    Newspaper columns so willing to whore,
    Waiting to explain you ‘way.
    Climb through the flack with your lede in the blogs,
    And you’re gone.

    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Ahh. . .ahh.

    Picture yourself as the sane of the nation,
    With dump routine reporters with crooked crass lies.
    Suddenly someone is there with a text file,
    A girl who likes the wrong Enterprise.

    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Lucy Steigerwald, on assignment.
    Ahh. . .ahh.

    1. This is the zenith of H&R fan art, truly.

      1. The song or the dedication?

        1. The dedication is the apogee.

          1. I feel like I should engage in a knife fight with Episiarch or something. Of course, little does he know that he’s merely part of my plans within plans within plans.

            Within plans!

  25. So, a long time ago – maybe a few years – didn’t someone get banned for being a pest? Was it Gary Gunnels, or an alter-ego of his, or someone else?

    Why was he banned? I suppose he was annoying and pointlessly argumentative but he didn’t seem as mindlessly and pointlessly annoying as some others. Did he threaten someone?

    I ask because, in retrospect, he seems a lot less pestiferous than some others who I will not name for fear of bringing the wrath of sevo upon me.

  26. If there are so many “good cops” and “good cops” don’t mind being recorded (because it always exonerates them, and I know a whole bunch of guys et al), then why are there so many stories of badge heavy punks lying to citizens about recording, if not actually assaulting them?

    Any super-libertarian freedom loving cops out here with an explanation? Or should I go to the comments section of Police One for my answer?

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