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Lawyers Ponder Whether 'Secret Video' of Romney Violated Privacy Laws

Politicos want to know whether the "secret video" of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraising event will hurt his chances in the upcoming presidential election, but some lawyers are pondering a different question: Did the person who made the tape violate state law?

CNBC reports that in Florida, both parties to a conversation must give their consent before it can be recorded legally. Recording a conversation without this "two-party" consent is a third degree felony under Florida law, and can even carry a prison term. At least one Florida lawyer, Marc Nurik, told CNBC that Romney arguably had an expectation of privacy in his secretly recorded comments, and that he believed the tape was made in violation of the Florida statute. Nurik added that the yet-unknown taper's best defense would be to argue that Romney's remarks were made at a public event and therefore did not require consent.  

Politico adds that violations of the Florida statute can also lead to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. Politico notes that any such case would likely be against the person who made the tape and not Mother Jones, the publication that released the video. Mother Jones is reportedly unlikely to face any legal issues under Supreme Court precedent that protects publication of such videos.

Posted by Bruce Carton on September 18, 2012 at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (16)


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