Comprehensive Overview (state-by-state) of the Legal Impact of wiretapping:

Kentucky

Current status

Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chapter 526 addresses eavesdropping, with regard to the act itself, as well as installing or possessing eavesdropping devices, tampering with private communication and divulging illegally obtained informations. Kentucky is an “one party consent” state when it comes to communication interception and also has a law addressing voyeurism.

Impact of law

Eavesdropping law in Kentucky only addressed oral and wire communication. Electronic communication is only addressed with regard to intercepting electronic communication based on court orders or warrants by law officers[1].

The federal law may prevail in cases of eavesdropping on electronic communications.

Regarding video-surveillance, the law only refers to recording other persons without their consent in a sexual or nudity context.

References to Physical TSCM

The eavesdropping statute mentions interception “by means of any electronic, mechanical or other device” used to record, amplify or transmit any part of a wire or oral communication. The voyeurism statute mentions the use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photoelectric, or other image recording device. Common eavesdropping devices are thus specifically addressed.

References to Cyber TSCM

Cyber eavesdropping methods are not referenced in the state’s eavesdropping statute.

Criminal implications

Intercepting private communications in violation of the state’s eavesdropping law is a felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 fine. Violations of the state’s hidden camera laws or distributing information obtained illegally through eavesdropping are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.

Civil implications

Code excerpts

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 526.010[2] Definition.

“Eavesdrop” means to overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of a wire or oral communication of others without the consent of at least one (1) party thereto by means of any electronic, mechanical or other device.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann.526.020[3] Eavesdropping.

(1) A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he intentionally uses any device to eavesdrop, whether or not he is present at the time.

(2) Eavesdropping is a Class D felony.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann.526.030[4] Installing eavesdropping device.

(1) A person is guilty of installing an eavesdropping device when he intentionally installs or places such a device in any place with the knowledge that it is to be used for eavesdropping.

(2) Installing an eavesdropping device is a Class D felony.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 526.040[5] Possession of eavesdropping device.

(1) A person is guilty of possession of an eavesdropping device when he possesses any electronic, mechanical or other device designed or commonly used for eavesdropping with intent to use that device to eavesdrop or knowing that another intends to use that device to eavesdrop.

(2) Possession of an eavesdropping device is a Class A misdemeanor.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 526.060[6] Divulging illegally obtained information.

(1) A person is guilty of divulging illegally obtained information when he knowingly uses or divulges information obtained through eavesdropping or tampering with private communications or learned in the course of employment with a communications common carrier engaged in transmitting the message.

(2) Divulging illegally obtained information is a Class A misdemeanor.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 532.060[7] Sentence of imprisonment for felony — Post-incarceration supervision.

(d) For a Class D felony, not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 534.030[8] Fines for felonies. (1) Except as otherwise provided for an offense defined outside this code, a person who has been convicted of any felony shall, in addition to any other punishment imposed upon him, be sentenced to pay a fine in an amount not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and not greater than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or double his gain from commission of the offense, whichever is the greater

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 531.090[9] Voyeurism.

(1) A person is guilty of voyeurism when:

(a) He or she intentionally:

  1. Uses or causes the use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photoelectric, or other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping the sexual conduct, genitals, an undergarment worn without being publicly visible, or nipple of the female breast of another person without that person’s consent; […]

 

[1] Source: http://www.gov.ky/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/GAZHOME/PUBLICATIONS/GAZETTE-SUPPLEMENTS/2011/GS412011_WEB.PDF

[2] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=19948

[3] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=19949

[4] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=19950

[5] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=19951

[6] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=19953

[7] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=39556

[8] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=20097

[9] Source: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=43301