Anything Goes in Idaho
After an uncomfortable, closed-door conversation with a sketchy person, we asked ourselves a scary question: "Could they legally record us without our knowledge in Idaho?" Then we Googled it, and this is what came up:
In Idaho, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record communications, whether they are wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication.
Before you take comfort in that, you should also know that the person you're talking to is legally allowed to record your conversation per their personal consent to do so. If that sounds crazy, it's because it is. Idaho Code Ann. 18-6702 also extends itself to the following:
- the right to record telephone & electronic communications;
- the right to record in-person conversations;
- and the right to record government officials in public.
Potential Fines & Prison Time
For as seriously as Idahoans protect their right to privacy, it blows our mind that a law like this is on the Gem State's books. But wait! It gets even crazier. A person can be subject to a $5,000 fine and spend up to five years behind bars... [*crickets*]. If you're wondering why a punishment exists at all, so are we.
Which States Require Two-Party Consent?
Where Idaho legislation basically scoffed at our right to hold a truly private conversation, other states feel quite differently. To date, 11 states require two-party consent to record a conversation or phone call. Those states are: California, Washington, Montana, Nevada, Illinois, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.