Comprehensive Overview (state-by-state) of the Legal Impact of wiretapping:
Under Arizona law, to legally intercept a private communication in which an individual is not engaged, he must have the consent of at least one party engaged in the conversation.
The law also protects individuals from eavesdropping intrusions, when they have reasonable expectation of privacy, clearly mentioned in situations of oral communication and direct observation of persons in private places.
Impact of law
The law addresses oral, wire and electronic communications.
It criminalizes the interception of oral communications at which one is not present, without the consent of a party to such conversation, and the interception of wire or electronic communications to which one is not a party, without the consent of either a sender or receiver.
Oral communication in this section is defined as “conversation that is uttered by a person who exhibits an expectation that the communication is not subject to interception”. For wire or electronic communications, no expectation of privacy is mentioned.
In conclusion, interception of other people’s communications without consent can be done legally only in the case or oral communication, when the subjects have no expectation of privacy (public places). The same analysis applies to surreptitious photographing, filming, recording or viewing another person without that person’s consent in a location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, like a restroom, locker room, bedroom
References to Physical TSCM
Arizona eavesdropping law refers to the use of “any electronic, mechanical or other device” by which one can intercept the contents of communications, with special acknowledgement of “pen register devices” and “trap and trace devices”, which do not intercept the contents of communications, but rather communication pathways. We assert that Arizona law covers the greater part of available physical eavesdropping devices.
References to Cyber TSCM
Arizona law covers “electronic communication” as any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature that is transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system.
Also, “pen register devices” and “trap and trace devices” are defined as being either devices or processes, thus not requiring a physical body. We conclude that, while the cyber medium is the subject of the law, cyber eavesdropping devices can also be interpreted to be subjects of Arizona eavesdropping law.
Intercepting a private conversation without the consent of at least one party is a class 5 felony under Arizona law. Illegally filming a person is also a class 5 felony. The illegal use of pen registers and trap-and-trace devices is class 6 felony. Punishment for such felonies range from six months to two and a half years in prison and/or fine of up to $150,000.
The state allows for civil suits for violations of the eavesdropping law. Any person whose communication is intentionally intercepted may bring a civil action against the person or entity that engaged in the violation, within one year of the discovery of the violation. The plaintiff is entitled to recover for statutory damages, attorney fees, and any profits made by the person disclosing illegally obtained personal informations. The legal compensation can be up to ten thousand dollars.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13-3001 – Definitions
- “Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature that is transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system […]
- “Electronic communication system” means any communication or computer facilities or related electronic equipment for the transmission, processing or electronic storage of electronic communications.
- “Intercept” means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical or other device.
- “Oral communication” means a spoken communication that is uttered by a person who exhibits an expectation that the communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying the expectation but does not include any electronic communication.
- “Pen register” means a device or process that records or decodes electronic or other impulses […]
- “Trap and trace device” means a device or process that captures the incoming electronic or other impulses […]
- “Wire communication” means any aural transfer that is made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of any wire, cable or other like connection […]
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13-3005 – Interception of wire, electronic and oral communications; installation of pen register or trap and trace device; classification; exceptions
- Except as provided in this section and section 13-3012, a person is guilty of a class 5 felony who either:
- Intentionally intercepts a wire or electronic communication to which he is not a party, or aids, authorizes, employs, procures or permits another to so do, without the consent of either a sender or receiver thereof.
- Intentionally intercepts a conversation or discussion at which he is not present, or aids, authorizes, employs, procures or permits another to so do, without the consent of a party to such conversation or discussion.
- Intentionally intercepts the deliberations of a jury or aids, authorizes, employs, procures or permits another to so do.
- Except as provided in sections 13-3012 and 13-3017, a person who intentionally and without lawful authority installs or uses a pen register or trap and trace device on the telephone lines or communications facilities of another person which are utilized for wire or electronic communication is guilty of a class 6 felony.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13-3019 – Surreptitious photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording or viewing; exemptions; classification; definitions
- It is unlawful for any person to knowingly photograph, videotape, film, digitally record or by any other means secretly view, with or without a device, another person without that person’s consent under either of the following circumstances:
- In a restroom, bathroom, locker room, bedroom or other location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy […]
- It is unlawful to disclose, display, distribute or publish a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording made in violation of subsection A of this section without the consent or knowledge of the person depicted.
- This section does not apply to:
- Photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording for security purposes if notice of the use of photographing, videotaping, filming or digital recording equipment is clearly posted in the location […]
- The use of a child monitoring device as defined in section 13-3001.
- A violation of subsection A or B of this section is a class 5 felony.
- Notwithstanding subsection D of this section, a violation of subsection B of this section is a class 4 felony if the person depicted is recognizable.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 12-731 – Recovery of civil damages
- Except as provided in title 13, chapter 30, any person whose wire, oral or electronic communication is intentionally intercepted, disclosed or used in violation of title 13, chapter 30 may bring a civil action to recover from the person or entity that engaged in the violation the following:
- Such preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief as may be appropriate.
- Damages in an amount that is the greater of either:
(a) The sum of the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff and any profits made by the violator as a result of the violation.
(b) Statutory damages of one hundred dollars a day for each day of the violation.
(c) Statutory damages of ten thousand dollars.
- Punitive damages in appropriate cases.
- Reasonable attorney fees and other reasonable costs of litigation.
- A civil action under this section may not be commenced later than one year after the date upon which the plaintiff first has a reasonable opportunity to discover the violation.