Attorney General Eric Holder gave a much publicized speech at Northwestern law school on Monday, in which he attempted to explain the Obama administration’s constitutional authority for killing U.S. citizens abroad without judicial oversight. Holder in part claimed that there is a difference between “due process” and “judicial process”, the latter of which—according to him—is not guaranteed under the Constitution. The speech was predictably and widely criticized in legal circles on Fifth Amendment grounds (see here, here, here, here, and here), but an overlooked section of his speech should also give constitutional experts pause: Holder’s stance on the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) and warrantless wiretapping. Continue reading
The U.S. federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most have also extended the law to cover in-person conversations. 38 states and the D.C. permit recording telephone conversations to which they are a party without informing the other parties that they are doing so.
12 states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. It is illegal under all jurisdictions to record calls in which one is not a party.
A complete state-by-state set of regulations regarding telephone call recording may be obtained in the following report published by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states.html