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recordingIn the latest installment of the drama surrounding the lawsuit between the two owners of Websleuths.com comes the revelation that there are a massive number of secretly recorded telephone calls. I find this revelation disconcerting since as owners and administrators of a true crime forum, the parties involved would have been  aware the legal ramifications of such an act as well as the ethics of engaging in such an activity.

One of the individuals involved in the lawsuit is a resident of the state of Utah. Part of the statute regarding this practice reads as follows :

Utah Code Ann. § 77-23a-4:  Reads that the practice is legal. However, there is also an exception where “a reasonable expectation of privacy exists between one or more of the parties being recorded.”

On the other hand, there is also the question of weather or not it is ethical to record these conversations and then release the contents to the general public. There are quite a number of people, from what I understand, how have had their conversations with certain individuals recorded without their knowledge or consent and now find themselves being heard by an unknown number of strangers who have become interested in the Websleuths lawsuit drama.

It is hard to say if this practice is going to hurt or help any of the parties in the lawsuit or if there are any legal options for those who have been recorded secretly. What is clear is that the debate regarding the ethics of such a practice is ongoing.

Time will tell what the effects of this latest revelation will be. One thing is for certain. It seems that there are people out there who will take advantage of this situation and publish things that should remain private.  Many social media website owners are gleefully releasing the recordings or at least the links to them.

This blog is not going to be one of them.

Stay tuned

MURT