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Bob, while providing lawful notice of call recording by beep-tone warning notification, records calls with a company that does not record calls where it ordinarily conveys information that exposes it to liability for policy-driven fraud affecting the public at a broader scale in California.

The representatives during these calls typically merely carry out the instructions they are given in most cases unaware of the potential natures of these assertions being of breach of law; however, the company’s business, profitability and rising stock prices are each detrimentally reliant on these frauds.

Bob is able to prove that the company fires those who are found to have consented to go on the record and admit to certain omissions, fraud, malicious and/or oppressive acts.

Is Bob permitted to de-identify, that is, alter the pitch of the speakers of the calls, and minimally censor parts of the call wherever Bob and the company rep talk at the same time so that the exact extent of change in pitch cannot be deciphered and then reversed to identify the employees or other representatives of the company to protect them from similar retaliation?

Is this a grey area of falsifying evidence or is there case law or statute that permits de-identification where a reasonable suspicion or concern is present that a company would retaliate on those who effectively inadvertently whistleblow or are compelled to whistleblow by the lawfully created audio-only call records?

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If Bob acknowledges how he has altered the evidence at the time he submits it, there shouldn't be any issues with it turning into falsification, which generally only becomes a problem when it's done with an intent to mislead the court.

More likely, an opposing party would raise an authenticity objection, i.e, that the evidence has been altered and is therefore not trustworthy. It's probably going to be up to the judge whether to sustain that objection or not, and I'd expect the court's decision to turn in large part on how plausible it finds Bobs allegations of fraud and retaliation. I'd also expect that the Court would be less concerned with the pitch alteration than the redaction of portions of the recording. If we don't know what Bob is saying, it makes it hard to understand the full context of the conversation.

Of course, all of this assumes that Bob hasn't already been forced to turn over the original recordings to Company, which he will be. The parties have a right to each other's evidence, and they are required to identify their witnesses to each other. The moment Company knows about the recording, it is going to submit a discovery request demanding a copy, and Bob will be obligated to comply. If Bob objects that doing so would expose the representatives to retaliation, I would expect the court to warn Company against tampering with witnesses and then order Bob to comply with his discovery obligations.

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