letters | AG Pushes to update state’s wiretap law

If we’re to expand state’s power, balance it with boost for citizens

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s desired updates to the Massachusetts wiretap law make sense, provided that all surveillance is subject to judicial oversight (“Bill seeks end to strict limit on targets of wiretap law,” Metro, Jan. 28). But they don’t go far enough.

The existing statute outlaws recording audio without the consent of all parties. This is an antiquated provision that serves almost no purpose, denies citizens a powerful way to protect themselves, and, in many situations, makes a criminal out of anyone who captures a video with a cellphone.


Further, there have been numerous cases where law enforcement has used this law to arrest citizens who have had the temerity to record police activities in public spaces.

The proposed changes would expand the state’s power, so how about balancing that by making Massachusetts a one-party-consent state, like most of the rest of the nation?

Alan Mandel


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