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Private Recordings: Is it Legal to Record a Conversation? Depends.

You may have heard a lot about Omarosa Manigault Newman recently. She was a former political aide was fired by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Omarosa released audio recordings of her conversation with President Donald Trump after she was fired. In the recordings played on the Today Show, Trump seems surprised she had been fired.

Is what Omarosa did — recording a conversation unknowingly by the second party involved — legal?

President Donald trump tweeted Monday afternoon:

“Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!”

Depending on what the NDA said, Omarosa could be in some legal trouble.

One party consent means you have the right to record a conversation without the other person’s knowledge.

In Washington D.C., you can record someone without their knowledge. That’s only the case in D.C. and a handful of other states.

Florida is a two party consent state, meaning both people must be aware that a conversation is being recorded.

“Recording someone without them knowing is also a crime especially if that information gets disseminated,” Lance Dunford with the Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey said. “That can actually be a felony offense if somebody records something without their knowledge and then sends it out onto some public airway.”

So what about for more common recordings — like Snapchat videos in public places?

“There is actually an exception to the wiretapping statute or dual consent requirement and that is if the communication is being recorded in an open and obvious place you don’t have an expectation of privacy in a public location,” Dunford said.

Only 12 states across the U.S. have a two party consent law.

Reporting by Allyssa Dickert

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