Suppose I'm not too pleased with my Congressman's stance on an issue, and that I plan on calling his or her office. Is it legal to record a phone call made to the office of my Congressman (or Senator) in New York State, without telling them? Said office may be either their local office or their Washington office. Does it make a difference if I make the phone call from within the state or district (maybe I'm in New Jersey for the day)?

And while we're at it, is it legal to publish this audio recording online or send it to journalists?

  • 1
    To their state office or DC office? Not sure if it matters, but it might.
    – cpast
    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:00
  • Either. I'll clarify.
    – JesseTG
    Dec 21, 2016 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


"One-party consent" law governs recording of conversations in New York state and under federal law. What that means is that a conversation can be recorded, provided one of the parties consent. You can publish any legally-acquired material, or send it to journalists.

  • Even though I'm calling a member of public office (or, rather, their representative staff)?
    – JesseTG
    Dec 21, 2016 at 11:01
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    @JesseTG one-party consent means that you can record any conversation you're participating in without the consent of the other party or parties. Therefore it doesn't matter whether the other party holds public office.
    – phoog
    Dec 21, 2016 at 12:42
  • Ah, I see. In that case, that answers my question, thank you!
    – JesseTG
    Dec 21, 2016 at 12:53
  • @JesseTG: Note that some other states have two-party consent laws; in such states, you cannot record a conversation unless both parties agree. It's conceivable that some states could have an exception when one of the parties is a public official, but I'm not aware of any. Dec 21, 2016 at 17:56
  • 1
    That depends on which all-party state is involved. If it's California, California law wins (the Cal. Supreme Court has ruled). Probably the two-party state rules, in general.
    – user6726
    Aug 4, 2020 at 0:25

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