WHEN IS EAVESDROPPING BY ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE VIA VIDEO, AUDIO OR DATA A CRIME?

National Electronic Surveillance regulations of audio or video can be found in the Wiretap Act which requires that a Judge make a formal finding of probable cause that a crime has or is about to be committed before the Government may listen in on your conversations with your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer.  
Because the federal standards were enacted with a view to restrict Government eavesdropping into telephonic conversations long before the internet, cell phones and large scale use of video surveillance, state governments have taken up the slack with State Electronic Surveillance laws. Yet even the better written state laws such as Florida’s which strives to lean toward privacy have many exceptions.
Electronic surveillance has been broadened by many states to cover other ‘data communications’ as follows:

video surveillance balances privacy rights with security needs in Tampa Florida
Hidden yet there, Camera Obscura 

Electronic surveillance involves the traditional laws on wiretapping, which can be defined as any interception of a telephone transmission by accessing the telephone signal itself–and eavesdropping–listening in on conversations without the consent of the parties.  States have extended these laws to cover data communications as well as telephone surveillance….In Florida, interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications is prohibited. State and federal policymakers face the challenge of balancing security needs via electronic surveillance against individual privacy. 


The delicate balancing of privacy rights with security needs is something each state has had to grapple with in determining criminal standards. Here is the criminal law in Florida as it relates to use and abuse of electronic communications:

934.03Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited.(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, any person who:(a) Intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication;(b) Intentionally 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:1. Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or2. Such device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of such communication;(c) Intentionally 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 through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;(d) Intentionally 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 through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection; or(e) Intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted by means authorized. 

Florida law sets the standard for the rest of the nation in protecting privacy rights over intrusion. Yet despite the law in Florida Clearwater Criminal Attorneys find that Tampa Courts have held that where there is no expectation of privacy such as in a store, there is no privacy. Everything you do at the store is on video from the moment you park, enter and slug the manager for turning off the blue light special just as you reach for it.