Penn Live – June 11, 2007:

Brian D. Kelly didn’t think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film.

Now he’s worried about going to prison or being burdened with a criminal record.

Kelly is charged under a state law that bars the intentional interception or recording of anyone’s oral conversation without their consent.

An exception to the wiretapping law allows police to film people during traffic stops, Mancke said.

The purpose of such a law is to protect people’s privacy. But how could a public official performing a public duty have any expectation of privacy? This is a bad law and it needs to be fixed.



  1. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    I spent some time in an online community of security and surveillance system installers, and Pennsylvania is a different world for them. Convenience stores, for example, can record all the surveillance video they want, but audio is a major infraction. Nobody seems to know the logic behind this, but it is the law there. Apparently it is a law unique to Penn.

  2. John Paradox says:

    The LSD I dumped in the water supply is finally working!
    Comment by OhForTheLoveOf

    You old enough to remember a movie: Wild In The Streets?
    The superstar rock idol was elected President, then they dumped LSD in D.C.’s water supply for Congress.
    (BTW, it won’t work, the fluoride would destroy the LSD.. drat)

    J/P=?

  3. Bigby says:

    #22 Besides, who drinks tap water any more? I thought everyone drank bottled water – you know, the stuff that’s more expensive than gasoline…

  4. Uncle Dave says:

    All of you might find the Can We Tape site interesting. It has a breakdown by state of the laws related to recording phone and in-person conversations.

    And Hop, the beeper requirement for calls has been gone for a long time, unless there is some individual state that requires it. For example, you never hear that anymore on radio call-in shows.

  5. Timmo says:

    “The old saw is that “Your right to swing your arm stops at my nose.””

    In today’s world, that would be considered “Assault.” “Assault” covers the arm’s movement toward your nose and “Battery” is when it makes contact with your nose and flattens it. If a guy is swinging at you, he can be charged with assault…now, with US Courts being obsessed with “motive” or, “intent” alleged assault perps can always claim a “misunderstanding” by the alleged victim. The end all is…Welcome to America where nobody can really be found guilty of doing anything “wrong.”

  6. Arrius says:

    More examples of contempt of cop.

    They dont like being accountable to others, merely enforcing accountability on others.

    There is no expectation of privacy in public, and as a public servant I think the actions of cops should be observable and recordable within guidelines that allow maximum freedom of the populace without interfering with the process they are observing.

    The police state is here people. Cops know they can screw with Joe Shmo because Joe has so much to lose when they have a run in with the cops, even a manufactored run in, that Joe will go out of his way to avoid a cop at almost any cost. Cops dont seem like servants to me, they seem like Junior Varsity football players that lacked any other viable career path and ended up policing people to feel the importance they once had in High School.

  7. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    #24 – Uncle Dave

    “And Hop, the beeper requirement for calls has been gone for a long time, unless there is some individual state that requires it.”

    Yas, here in the Lone Star State you can record any telephone conversation which you are a party to. What you cannot do is record the conversation of others without their knowledge. Not so terrible, as laws go…

  8. spooky says:

    Not only can you record someone without their knowledge, the recording is admissible as evidence in court. What you can’t do is record a telephone conversation and use it as evidence. You CAN record any conversation, even on the phone, without the other party’s knowledge; it’s admissibility in court that’s questionable. My sister sued a former employer for sexual harassment and used as evidence a recording she’d made with a microcassette recorder in her pocket. The evidence was ruled admissible and she won the case.