iphone wiretap recording

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is okay to secretly record a conversation if the recording is not used for nefarious purposes. The court’s decision and ruling was in response to a probate case concerning a dying mother, her son, and the son’s stepfather in which the son had recorded a family conversation regarding his mother’s dying wishes.

The son’s recording occurred without the consent or knowledge of any of the parties involved. As it turns out, the dispute arose because the mother did not have a will and the son had used the recording that he had made with a $0.99 iPhone app to further his case. The stepfather charged that the son had illegally recorded a private conversation, citing the Wiretap Act.

In response to the case, the appeals court wrote, “The defendant must have the intent to use the illicit recording to commit a tort of crime beyond the act of recording itself,” and further, “hold that the exception to the one-party consent provision of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(2)(d) requires that a communication be intercepted for the purpose of a tortious or criminal act that is independent of the intentional act of recording,”

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