Comprehensive Overview (state-by-state) of the Legal Impact of wiretapping:
North Dakota has an interception statute that only regulates interception and disclosure of oral and wire communications. The law does not mention electronic communication, although it does address electronic devices used as means of interception. North Dakota is a “one party consent” state.
The state also has a statute addressing surreptitious intrusion, whether direct or through recording devices, and in either private places or public establishments where the occupant would have reasonable expectation of privacy.
Impact of law
Legal interception or disclosure of wire or oral communications require the consent of at least one party.
The law prohibits third parties from loitering around any building with the intent to overhear discussions or conversation held inside. This clause can be interpreted as the expectation of privacy is justified by having an oral communication in an enclosed space.
The surreptitious surveillance statute makes it a misdemeanor to enter another person’s property to directly observe or use devices to record or broadcast sounds or actions of persons in that place. The same charge addresses similar violations in public places where a reasonable individual would have an expectation of privacy and is likely to expose his body, like a tanning booth or a sleeping room in a hotel. Observing and recording in public places with no reasonable expectation of privacy is not illegal.
References to Physical TSCM
The eavesdropping law mentions “any electronic, mechanical, or other device”, defined as any device or apparatus which can be used to intercept a wire or oral communication. The intrusion statute mentions “any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events”.
References to Cyber TSCM
The law does not address electronic communication.
Violations of the wiretapping statute are class C felonies, while violations of the intrusion statute are class A misdemeanors.
N.D. Cent. Code 12.1-15-02. Interception of wire or oral communications – Eavesdropping.
- A person is guilty of a class C felony if he:
- Intentionally intercepts any wire or oral communication by use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device; or
- Intentionally discloses to any other person or intentionally uses the contents of any wire or oral communication, knowing that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire or oral communication.
- A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if he secretly loiters about any building with intent to overhear discourse or conversation therein and to repeat or publish the same with intent to vex, annoy, or injure others.
- It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection 1 that:
- (1) The actor was a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication had given prior consent to such interception, and (2) such communication was not intercepted for the purpose of committing a crime or other unlawful harm.
N.D. Cent. Code 12.1-15-04. Definitions. In sections 12.1-15-02 through 12.1-15-04:
- “Electronic, mechanical, or other device” means any device or apparatus which can be used to intercept a wire or oral communication […]
- “Intercept” means the aural acquisition of the contents of any wire or oral communication through the use of an electronic, mechanical, or other device, or by secretly overhearing the communication.
- “Oral communication” means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.
- “Wire communication” means any communication made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of reception […]
N.D. Cent. Code 12.1-20-12.2. Surreptitious intrusion.
- An individual, with the intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify that individual’s lust, passions, or sexual desires, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if that individual does any of the following:
- With intent to intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of another, enters upon another’s property and surreptitiously gazes, stares, or peeps into a house or place of dwelling of another.
- With intent to intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of another, enters upon another’s property and surreptitiously installs or uses any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events from a house or place of dwelling of another.
- With intent to intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of the occupant, surreptitiously installs or uses any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events from a tanning booth, a sleeping room in a hotel, or other place where a reasonable individual would have an expectation of privacy and has exposed or is likely to expose that individual’s intimate parts or has removed the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts.