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

Oklahoma

Current status

Oklahoma has two laws regulating eavesdropping activities: The Security of Communications Act and the Peeping Tom statute.

The Security of Communications Act states Oklahoma as a one party consent state with regard to interception of wire, oral or electronic communication and also addresses interference to the wire infrastructure. The Peeping Tom statute criminalize the observation of persons in clandestine manner, in places where the person has a right to privacy, both private and public, without setting a sexual or bodily exposure context.

Impact of law

Under Oklahoma law, a person can lawfully intercept a wire, oral or electronic communication when such person is a party to the communication or when one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent. This includes not only conversations, but also emails, text messages, chat content and other forms of electronic communication. The statute also criminalizes tampering with the telecommunication infrastructure and infiltrating any electronic, mechanical or other device with the intention of using it for illegal eavesdropping.

The surveillance law addresses intrusions upon the privacy of persons. It holds unlawful to either directly observe other persons in places where they have the right to privacy, or to record and use such recordings. These clauses do not mention a specific sexual or exposure content, thus are addressing the right to privacy in a broader sense. The third claim criminalizes capturing images of a private area of another person.

References to Physical TSCM

The law clearly mentions “any device or apparatus which can be used to intercept a wire, oral or electronic communication” as well as “photographic, electronic or video equipment”.

References to Cyber TSCM

Considering the definition of “electronic communication” as used in the text of law, we can asserts that “any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system” is addressed by the Security of Communications Act, thus including any tool capable of intercepting such transfer of information.

Criminal implications

Violations of the Security of Communications Act are felony offense and shall be punished by a fine of up to $5,000.00, or by imprisonment of up to 5 years, or by both.

Misdemeanor violations of the Peeping Tom statute shall be punished by imprisonment of up to 1 year, or by a fine of up to $5,000.00, or by both, while the incarceration period for felony violations of the statute may rise up to 5 years.

Civil implications

Code excerpts

Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 13-176.1[1].

Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the “Security of Communications Act”.

Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 13-176.3[2].

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this act, any person is guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or by both who:

  1. Willfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, oral or electronic communication;
  2. Willfully 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;
  3. Willfully discloses or endeavors to disclose to any other person the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained in violation of the provisions of the Security of Communications Act;
  4. Willfully uses or endeavors to use the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained in violation of the provisions of the Security of Communications Act;
  5. Willfully and maliciously, without legal authority, removes, injures or obstructs any telephone or telegraph line, or any part or appurtenances or apparatus connected thereto, or severs any wires thereof;

Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 13-176.4[3].

It is not unlawful pursuant to the Security of Communications Act for:

  1. a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral or electronic communication when such person is a party to the communication or when one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal act;

Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 13-176.2[4].

As used in the Security of Communications Act:

  1. Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system […]
  2. Electronic, mechanical or other device” means any device or apparatus which can be used to intercept a wire, oral or electronic communication […]
  3. Intercept” means the aural acquisition of the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical or other device;
  4. Oral communication” means any communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstance justifying such expectation;

Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 21-1171[5]. Peeping Tom – Use of photographic, electronic or video equipment

  1. Every person who hides, waits or otherwise loiters in the vicinity of any private dwelling house, apartment building, any other place of residence, or in the vicinity of any locker room, dressing room, restroom or any other place where a person has a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the unlawful and willful intent to watch, gaze, or look upon any person in a clandestine manner, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor. The violator shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not more than one (1) year, or by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
  2. Every person who uses photographic, electronic or video equipment in a clandestine manner for any illegal, illegitimate, prurient, lewd or lascivious purpose with the unlawful and willful intent to view, watch, gaze or look upon any person without the knowledge and consent of such person when the person viewed is in a place where there is a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy, or who publishes or distributes any image obtained from such act, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony. The violator shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than five (5) years, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
  3. Every person who uses photographic, electronic or video equipment in a clandestine manner for any illegal, illegitimate, prurient, lewd or lascivious purpose with the unlawful and willful intent to view, watch, gaze or look upon any person and capture an image of a private area of a person without the knowledge and consent of such person and knowingly does so under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that the private area of the person would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether the person is in a public or private place shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor. The violator shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not more than one (1) year, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

 

[1] Source: http://oklegal.onenet.net/oklegal-cgi/get_statute?99/Title.13/13-176.1.html

[2] Source: http://oklegal.onenet.net/oklegal-cgi/get_statute?99/Title.13/13-176.3.html

[3] Source: http://oklegal.onenet.net/oklegal-cgi/get_statute?99/Title.13/13-176.4.html

[4] Source: http://oklegal.onenet.net/oklegal-cgi/get_statute?99/Title.13/13-176.2.html

[5] Source: http://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2014/title-21/section-21-1171