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

New Hampshire

Current status

New Hampshire is one of the few states to specifically address economic espionage in its interception statute. Under N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 570-A:2, the use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication is also considered unlawful when such use takes place on premises of any business or other commercial establishment, or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business.

Impact of law

New Hampshire’s communication interception statute is based on the federal provisions, with one additional clause addressing economic espionage. Addressing the recording of personal communications, New Hampshire is an “all parties consent” state, requiring that participants to communications not only be notified before recording, but also that all parties consent to the recording.

The violation of privacy law prohibits the use of recording devices to record private body parts of other persons, but more importantly, to record actions of other persons in private places, where they may reasonably expect to be safe from unwanted surveillance, including one’s dwelling place.

References to Physical TSCM

In regard to interception of communications, the law references “any electronic, mechanical, or other device”. The violation of privacy statute references devices more specifically, as any device for the purpose of observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, broadcasting, or in any way transmitting images or sounds. We assess that, by these definitions, the law covers all available physical surveillance devices.

References to Cyber TSCM

The law specifically addresses telecommunications and oral communications, unlike other states, that address either oral and wire communications, or oral, wire and electronic communications. We believe that the term “telecommunications” includes digital media and subsequently, cyber means of intercepting digital transfers, although the law does not specifically mention this.

Criminal implications

Violations of the interception statute are class B felonies, while violations of privacy statute are class A misdemeanors.

Civil implications

Any person whose in-person conversation or electronic communication has been recorded or disclosed in violation of the law can bring a civil suit to recover the greater of actual damages, $100 a day for each day of violation or $1,000, and can recover punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs as well.

Code excerpts

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 570-A:2[1] Interception and Disclosure of Telecommunication or Oral Communications Prohibited.

  1. A person is guilty of a class B felony if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without the consent of all parties to the communication, the person:

(a) Wilfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any telecommunication or oral communication;

(b) Wilfully uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:

(1) Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in telecommunication, or

(2) Such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication, or

(3) Such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on premises of any business or other commercial establishment, or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment; or

(c) Wilfully discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any telecommunication or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a telecommunication or oral communication in violation of this paragraph; or

(d) Willfully uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any telecommunication or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a telecommunication or oral communication in violation of this paragraph.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 644:9[2] Violation of Privacy.

  1. A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such person unlawfully and without the consent of the persons entitled to privacy therein, installs or uses:

(a) Any device for the purpose of observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, broadcasting, or in any way transmitting images or sounds of the private body parts of a person

(b) In any private place, any device for the purpose of observing, photographing, recording, amplifying or broadcasting, or in any way transmitting images or sounds in such place; or

(c) Outside a private place, any device for the purpose of hearing, recording, amplifying, broadcasting, observing, or in any way transmitting images, location, movement, or sounds originating in such place which would not ordinarily be audible, visible, or comprehensible outside such place.

  1. As used in this section, “private place” means a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from surveillance including public restrooms, locker rooms, the interior of one’s dwelling place, or any place where a person’s private body parts including genitalia, buttocks, or female breasts may be exposed.
  2. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person knowingly enters any residential curtilage, as defined in RSA 627:9, I, or any other private place as defined in paragraph II of this section, without lawful authority and looks into the residential structure thereon or other private place with no legitimate purpose.

 

 

[1] Source: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/lviii/570-a/570-a-2.htm

[2] Source: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LXII/644/644-9.htm