Recordings by Government Officials

This post is co-authored with SOG faculty member Kristina Wilson and is cross-posted to the Coates’ Canons blog.

When and how can state and local government officials and employees record government meetings or their interactions with citizens? Does it matter if the recording is done openly or secretly? Recording may be tempting, particularly where there is a controversial matter at issue. The ability to record can be a useful tool, but there are several laws that government actors need to know if they want to use this tool legally and effectively. This post focuses on the issues surrounding government officials and employees recording oral communications outside of the law enforcement context. A later post will examine the issues surrounding video recording.

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Wiretapping Data — And a Question

In connection with an ongoing research project, I recently reviewed the 2013 Wiretap Report, prepared by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. It contains some information that may be of interest to readers, including: 3,576 wiretaps were authorized by federal or state courts in 2013, about twice the number authorized a decade earlier. … Read more