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

Utah

Current status

Utah is one party consent state in regard to interception of private communications. The state also has a privacy violation statute, which outlaws trespassing on property with the intent to subject anyone to eavesdropping or other surveillance in a private place, by direct observation or use of devices. Utah is one of the first states to take privacy laws one step ahead and address the unlawful implantation of electronic identification devices on persons.

Impact of law

An individual who is a party to either an oral, wire or electronic communication, or who has the consent of one of the parties to the communication, can lawfully record or intercept the communication without notifying the other parties. Regarding oral conversations, the law provisions “a reasonable expectation of privacy”, thus excluding public places.

References to Physical TSCM

Definitions of terms used by the law lead to a very broad perspective regarding the devices referenced and covered by the state’s interception statute. For instance, “electronic, mechanical, or other device” means any device or apparatus that may be used to intercept a wire, electronic, or oral communication, thus referencing any and all possible technical surveillance devices.

References to Cyber TSCM

“Electronic communication” is defined 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, photoelectric or photo-optical system and is explicitly addressed by the law. We conclude that cyber means of acquiring such transfers of intelligence are also covered by the law.

Criminal implications

Illegally intercepting or recording wire, oral or electronic communication is a felony, except when the communication is the radio portion of a cellular telephone communication in which case the violation is a misdemeanor.

Civil implications

Any person whose wire, electronic, or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or intentionally used in violation of the stale law may in a civil action recover relief from the person or entity that engaged in the violation, in the form of damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fee and litigation costs.

Code excerpts

Utah Code Ann. 77-23a-4[1]. Offenses — Criminal and civil — Lawful interception.

(b) A person commits a violation of this subsection who:

(i) intentionally or knowingly intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, electronic, or oral communication;

(ii) intentionally or knowingly 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 the device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication or when the device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of the communication;

(iii) intentionally or knowingly discloses or endeavors to disclose to any other person the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic, or oral communication in violation of this section; or

(iv) intentionally or knowingly uses or endeavors to use the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic, or oral communication in violation of this section.

(b) A person not acting under color of law may intercept a wire, electronic, or oral communication if that person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception […]

(10) (a) Except under Subsection (10)(b) or (11), a violation of Subsection (1) is a third degree felony.

Utah Code Ann. 77-23a-3[2]. Definitions.

(5) “Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system […]

(8) “Electronic, mechanical, or other device” means any device or apparatus that may be used to intercept a wire, electronic, or oral communication […]

(10) “Intercept” means the acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device.

Utah Code Ann. 77-23a-11[3]. Civil remedy for unlawful interception — Action for relief.

(1) […] a person whose wire, electronic, or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or intentionally used in violation of this chapter may in a civil action recover relief as appropriate from the person or entity that engaged in the violation.

(2) In an action under this section appropriate relief includes:

(a) preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief as is appropriate;

(b) damages under Subsection (3) and punitive damages in appropriate cases; and

(c) a reasonable attorney’s fee and reasonably incurred litigation costs.

Utah Code Ann. 76-9-402[4]. Privacy violation.

(1) A person is guilty of privacy violation if, except as authorized by law, he:

(a) Trespasses on property with intent to subject anyone to eavesdropping or other surveillance in a private place; or

(b) Installs in any private place, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy there, any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events in the place or uses any such unauthorized installation; or

(c) Installs or uses outside of a private place any device for hearing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds originating in the place which would not ordinarily be audible or comprehensible outside, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy there.

(2) Privacy violation is a class B misdemeanor.

Utah Code Ann. 77-23a-4.5[5]. Implanting an electronic identification device — Penalties.

(1) A person may not require, coerce, or compel any other individual to undergo or submit to the subcutaneous implanting of a radio frequency identification tag.

 

 

[1] Source: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE77/htm/77_23a000400.htm

[2] Source: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE77/htm/77_23a000300.htm

[3] Source: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE77/htm/77_23a001100.htm

[4] Source: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_09_040200.htm

[5] Source: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE77/htm/77_23a000405.htm