New York – Secretly recording a conversation doesn’t violate
the federal Wiretap Act if the recorder has no criminal intent in making the
recording, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
The son of a woman dying
of cancer secretly recorded a conversation the family had with her about her
will using his iPhone’s Recorder application.
While she died without creating a
will, the son then used the recording of the family conversation to challenge
his father’s claim to the estate.
The father sued in federal court in
Connecticut, claiming his son violated the Wiretap Act by recording the
"Merely intending to record the plaintiff is not
enough," the 2nd Circuit wrote in its decision.
"If, at the moment he
hits ‘record,’ the offender does not intend to use the recording for criminal
or tortious purposes, there is no violation."