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What “The Mooch” Can Teach Us About Surreptitious Tape-Recording

No longer must you visit a “Spy Store” or RadioShack and pay big bucks for a miniature recording device.  Today’s high-definition audio and video recording devices are tiny, inexpensive – and nearly impossible to spot.  In fact, you probably already own one: your iPhone or Android device can easily make recordings with a wide variety of free apps.  All you need do is install one, flip it on, put your phone in your breast pocket or lay it face-down on the table and get your adversary to say something inappropriate.

While the technology is easy and affordable – is it legal?  Can you record a conversation on the phone or in-person without telling the other person?

Staying barely long enough to down a cup of coffee, now-former White House Communications Director Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci did an interview with The New Yorker upon his departure.  After the interview was posted to the internet, The Mooch complained the interview was secretly recorded and that he didn’t give informed consent.

Actually, the recording was indeed legal because it took place in a “single-party consent” state.  The Mooch should have known this…and you should know the rules of the road, too.

We’re not lawyers and we don’t give legal advice.  Instead, we offer you this article from The Washington Post with our encouragement that you share it with your attorney so you both understand the how, when and where of digital recording.

Our advice to clients:  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you live in a single or two-party consent state.  We live, instead, in a digital world where everything can be taped.


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