In Canada, There is a general prohibition against interception of private communications of others by use of electronic or other devices. The Criminal Code provides that everyone who, by any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical, or other device, willfully intercepts a private communication, may be imprisoned for up-to five years. The Criminal Code also grants a punitive tort award of up-to $5,000 if the aggrieved person has not commenced a separate civil proceeding.
The exception: consent
The exception is when there is consent by at least one of the parties involved in the communication. The Code provides that the offence does not apply to a person who has the consent of the person who originates a private conversation or the person intended to receive it. This consent can be explicit or implied. Implied consent exists if you are actually a party to the conversation. In 1993, Parliament further clarified the meaning of consent by adding a section which states that when a private communication is originated by more than one person or is intended to be received by more than one person, consent to the “interception” can be given by any one of those persons.