In most US states, recording a conversation requires consent by one party to the conversation. But eleven states run on "two-party consent" laws, meaning that if both parties to the conversation to not actively consent to the recording, the recording is illegal.

The upshot here is that, if somebody is doing something bad to you (domestic abuse, extortion, sexual harassment, etc.) you are not legally allowed to record their interactions with you to produce evidence of their wrongdoing without their consent. (Which means that in practical terms, you're not legally allowed to do so at all.)

Why then do two-party consent laws exist? What possible justification could there be for such a blatantly pro-getting-away-with-doing-bad-stuff legal standard?

  • 4
    I’m voting to close this question because it belongs to Politics.SE and is answered there: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/40414/…
    – Greendrake
    Mar 18 at 20:40
  • 1
    @Greendrake The linked answer does not answer the question. Two-party consent does not protect against eavesdropping, which by definition involves a third party; one-party consent protects against eavesdropping. Mar 18 at 20:52
  • Maybe, but questions "why such law?" still belong to Politics.
    – Greendrake
    Mar 18 at 21:44


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