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Is it legal for one person in NY to secretly record a onversation with the intent to damage the reputation of two people.

Rochester, NY |

Some additional information. Suppose they have a recording device of some sort hidden in an office and are recording conversations held in that office without anyones consent or authorization. They are not in the room for the conversations. They do not have authorization by the company and are not the employees manager. This is done strictly on their own with the intent to hopefully find something they can use to damage the others in some way. Examples would include personal information or business info that is confidential. What could they be subjected to legally? Is it a felony/misdemeanor? does it require them to actually discolse the info they have discovered to be illegal or is the act alone a crime that could lead to charges

Attorney Answers 3


  1. In New York State, the law is that if one party to the conversation consents to its recording, then the recording is lawful.

    You describe a "bug" which is a recording device to monitor conversations in an office. Without a proper eavesdropping warrant issued by a judge, the recording of a conversation between two people is unlawful if one party to the conversation does not consent. The same holds true with wiretapping a telephone line, cell phone, fax machine or text messages.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


  2. Based on the information you have provided, this sounds like a violation of New York's law against eavesdropping, Penal Law section 250.05, a class E felony.


  3. f one person to the conversation consents, it is legal to record it. However, the purpose for the recording it may change that. If the intention is to blackmail, that changes the entire picture. Blackmail is a felony, and recording a conversation to create something by which someone can be blackmailed is a felony. If you haven't made such a recording, don't.

    DISCLAIMER - THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS RELATED. THIS IS OFFERED AS AND IS INTENDED TO BE MERELY GENERAL INFORMATION.I