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Was Romney taped illegally? Was the publication in Mother Jones Illegal?

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posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 07:50 AM
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This thread is *not* to discuss the veracity of the claims in a political sense of Romney's 47%, or anything else political, it is about the legality only of how the tape was made. Mods, I would appreciate a hand in keeping this on topic, please?

*all bold emphasis is mine

By now, I am sure that you have all see the video recording of Mitt Romney talking about the 47% of people not paying taxes. Due to possible legal issues, I am not going to repost the video or audio or script here. I am sure if you search ATS or Google, you will easily find it, if you have not already. The full transcript is also in both links below.

As I was watching this audio/video recording being played in news channels across the nation the past two days, it came to mind that the taping was done in a surreptitious manner. I wondered about that, and decided to dig a little further into the background of the story. Low and behold, what did I find?

Note: both links contain the word "secret".

www.motherjones.com...


Full Transcript of the Mitt Romney Secret Video
— By the MoJo News Team
| Wed Sep. 19, 2012 1:00 AM PDT




Below is a complete transcript, produced by Mother Jones, of the entire unedited Romney videos that we published on Tuesday. (See our exclusive coverage of Romney writing off Obama voters and trashing the Mideast peace process at his recent fundraiser in Florida.)


Romney Quote: "...because the table is small enough and the room is intimate enough..."


and


www.motherjones.com...

SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution
At a private fundraiser, the GOP candidate calls Middle East peace "almost unthinkable" and says he would "kick the ball down the field."
—By David Corn
| Tue Sep. 18, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

www.citmedialaw.org...


When must you get permission from everyone involved before recording?

Twelve states require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. These "two-party consent" laws have been adopted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington (Hawai'i is also in general a one-party state, but requires two-party consent if the recording device is installed in a private place). Although they are referred to as "two-party consent" laws, consent must be obtained from every party to a phone call or conversation if it involves more than two people. In some of these states, it might be enough if all parties to the call or conversation know that you are recording and proceed with the communication anyway, even if they do not voice explicit consent.


I think we can detect from the way the audio/video recording was made that not only did no one know this was being recorded, that if they did, they would not have given permission. This was, afterall, in a private individuals home.

www.citmedialaw.org...


NOTE: The First Amendment right to record does NOT give you the right to interfere in the performance of officials' duties, or violate generally applicable laws. You may still face criminal prosecution or civil liability if, while recording, you: interfere with an arrest; trespass into secure government areas or private property; fail to respond to legitimate measures by law enforcement to control riots or disturbances; or otherwise interfere with official activity or violate private rights.


Expectations of privacy:

Note above in bold "private fundraiser" "secret video". This video was made surreptitiously in the home of a private individual during a fundraising event. Also note above in bold, Romneys' comment, "...because the table is small enough and the room is intimate enough..."

www.rcfp.org...


Filming individuals in their homes is always a more risky venture. In a Minnesota case, a veterinarian making a house call obtained permission to bring a student with him, but failed to inform the homeowners that the student was an employee of a television station. The student surreptitiously videotaped the doctor’s treatment of the family cat in their home. The state Court of Appeals upheld the trespass claim because, unlike cases where the taping took place in an office, the family had a reasonable expectation of privacy in their home. (Copeland v. Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc.)


The following may have made it illegal to publish the audio/video recording firstly by Mother Jones, but then even by all of the media outlets following it.

www.rcfp.org...


Possession and publication
Date: August 1, 2012
Journalists should be aware that wiretap laws raise issues beyond just whether they have met consent requirements. The federal law and many state laws explicitly make it illegal to possess — and particularly to publish — the contents of an illegal wiretap, even if it is made by someone else. Some states that allow recordings make the distribution or publication of those otherwise legal recordings a crime.


However, the article goes on to state:


Taken together, Bartnicki and Snyder may suggest broad protection for the press against laws that prohibit publishing the contents of an illegal wiretap. Bartnicki held that when broadcasting the tape of an illegally recorded conversation, the First Amendment right to publish a matter of public concern could outweigh the privacy rights of those recorded. Snyder, in turn, demonstrated that a very broad range of content can be considered to be of public concern—including even a highly offensive protest directed at a private funeral. But until more such controversies work their way through the courts, the boundaries of the right to publish the contents of an illegal recording will remain unclear.

The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (amending the federal wiretap law) makes it illegal to possess or divulge the contents of any illegally intercepted communication.


www.citmedialaw.org...


An intrusion on seclusion claim is a special form of invasion of privacy. It applies when someone intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another. In most states, to make out an intrusion on seclusion claim, a plaintiff must generally establish 4 elements:

•First, that the defendant, without authorization, must have intentionally invaded the private affairs of the plaintiff;

•Second, the invasion must be offensive to a reasonable person;

•Third, the matter that the defendant intruded upon must involve a private matter; and

•Finally, the intrusion must have caused mental anguish or suffering to the plaintiff.


(continued)




posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:03 AM
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(continued)

How the story came about.

Source


Jimmy Carter’s grandson describes furtive efforts to arrange release of secret Romney video
By Associated Press, Published: September 18AP

WASHINGTON — Midway through a routine Internet search, James Carter IV stumbled upon a video that just didn’t seem right.

The grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and a self-fashioned Democratic opposition researcher, the younger Carter had watched countless hours of footage of Republican Mitt Romney and made it a habit to search YouTube every few days for keywords like “Romney” and “Republicans.”


(snip)


“The hidden camera video — it was all blurred out at the beginning, and it was mysterious,” Carter said. “It piqued my interest.”


The article goes on to describe how he arranged to discuss and meet online with the alleged youtube poster of the "hidden camera video", and eventually got enough of the material to then pass on to Mother Jones for publication.


What followed was a delicate, concerted effort to convince the source — still unknown to the public — that Carter could be trusted, and that the world had to see the rest of what was surreptitiously recorded as Romney spoke in May to donors who had paid $50,000 a person to attend the private fundraiser.


Aha! So my intuition was right!


Soon after, Carter persuaded the source to trust Corn with the full video — on the condition that he keep the source’s identity a secret. Corn ran with it, using clues in the video to triangulate when and where it had been recorded.


I am sure, by the same token, that if Romney wanted to press the issue, he could certainly do his own "triangulating". The information, by the way, that I posted in the first message, was guidelines for journalists.

Regardless of the fact that journalists must be credentialied to be considered valid for most reporting, it is obvious that the recording that wa made was not only illegal in Florida, but violated Federal laws, as well. Any person that owned or possessed the recording was also in violation of those laws., as were any people that played the video.

So, what say you ATS? Was it for the "greater good" that the video was posted for the public to see? Or, was it a violation of privacy that so many of you are staunch believers in?

Which is it? And why? Aside from your political convictions, I know it's hard to do, but give an opinion on the legalities, especially with the way cellphones are beconing a fact of life now.

Do you know your rights in your state? Do you know the difference in consent in public and private?

www.palmvid.com...



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


It all boils down to this question.

Did Romney have a reasonable expectation of privacy?

When you're inviting people to hear you give a speech and meet you in person.

How much privacy are you really expecting?



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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Just to add...

Romney called for the whole tape to be released. Does that change anything, even after the fact?



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by grey580
 



Originally posted by grey580
It all boils down to this question.

Did Romney have a reasonable expectation of privacy?


Not quite. It's also driven by the State this took place in.

Searched for that, but couldn't find where this took place.

Anyone else know?

ETA:

I see in the second post now it was Florida?
edit on 19-9-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:17 AM
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reply to post by Terminal1
 


Apparently 2 minutes are missing...

Selective Edit? Mother Jones Admits Romney Tape Missing 'One to Two Minutes'




Mother Jones, the left-wing magazine that released a controversial video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's remarks to a fundraiser in May, now admits that it has no full tape of what Romney said, and that its video is missing "one to two minutes" at the most important moment.




posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
reply to post by Libertygal
 


It all boils down to this question.

Did Romney have a reasonable expectation of privacy?

When you're inviting people to hear you give a speech and meet you in person.

How much privacy are you really expecting?


That question was answered in the post. He stated himself he was "at a small table in an intimate setting", and he was also in a private individuals home. I think that sets the standard for an expectation of privacy.

Also, you notice, there are no other recordings.



edit on 19-9-2012 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by Terminal1
Just to add...

Romney called for the whole tape to be released. Does that change anything, even after the fact?


Good point, but it doesn't change the fact that the tape was illegally begotten to begin with. I mean, he feels he has been addressing these issues from day one, according to his response.

So I suppose the ends justifies the means? I don't think so. I think this would have been improper in any circumstance, and illegal in 12 states, regardless of the outcome of the person that was offended. The article addressing the way Carters grandson came about exposing the full edit exposes the fact of it's illegality, what with the shyness of the person that did the taping, and them only willing to come forward if the journalist keeps their identity a secret.

Corn, Carter, and the taper knew it was illegal, by their actions alone.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by grey580
 



Originally posted by grey580
It all boils down to this question.

Did Romney have a reasonable expectation of privacy?


Not quite. It's also driven by the State this took place in.

Searched for that, but couldn't find where this took place.

Anyone else know?

ETA:

I see in the second post now it was Florida?
edit on 19-9-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)


Yes, Boca Raton. And Florida is a two party consent state on both in person recordings and phone recordings.

edit on 19-9-2012 by Libertygal because: ETA in person



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


I would argue.

en.wikipedia.org...


Later, this test was arranged into a two prong test for determining the existence of privacy: If (1) the individual "has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy," and (2) society is prepared to recognize that this expectation is (objectively) reasonable, then there is a right of privacy in the given circumstance.[5] This test was adopted by the majority in Smith v. Maryland.


While he may be in a private home. He is inviting people to come hear him speak. Anyone can come and hear him speak.... who can of course pay 50K per plate.
That is not private.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
reply to post by Libertygal
 


I would argue.

en.wikipedia.org...


Later, this test was arranged into a two prong test for determining the existence of privacy: If (1) the individual "has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy," and (2) society is prepared to recognize that this expectation is (objectively) reasonable, then there is a right of privacy in the given circumstance.[5] This test was adopted by the majority in Smith v. Maryland.


While he may be in a private home. He is inviting people to come hear him speak. Anyone can come and hear him speak.... who can of course pay 50K per plate.
That is not private.


He knew who the guests were, and again, it was in a private individuals home.

I could argue your quote, as well, because I think an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a private home. I would, for instance, expect to not be taped or recorded without my permission if I went to someones' home for a cookout or a party. If, in fact, I see a camera or video camera come out, I leave the area. I am camera shy. If I found I was taped or recorded without my permission, I would be offended. Most people have the courtesy to ask.

I think the situation fails your two prong test. He was recorded surreptitiously. In secret.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:39 AM
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If it was illegal Romney's camp would already be doing something against Mother Jones considering the state the Romney campaign is in at the moment. The fact that they aren't is enough to tell you it's probably legal.
edit on 19-9-2012 by antonia because: added a thought



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:40 AM
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I can not say for certain, but I do not believe the law is applicable in this case. It's all in the wording of the law.


consent must be obtained from every party to a phone call or conversation if it involves more than two people.


What was recorded was neither a phone call nor a conversation; rather, it was a speech. Furthermore, it wasn't "private"; anyone who was willing and able to cough up $50K was welcome to attend.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:41 AM
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Here is an additional interesting tidbit:



Disclosing recordings: The state prohibits the disclosure of any intercepted oral or electronic communication if that person knows or has reason to know the information was obtained in violation of the state’s wiretapping statutes. Fla. Stat. § 934.03(1)(c). Similar bars exist for individuals who distribute images in violation of the state’s video voyeurism law. Fla. Stat. § 810.145(3), (4).



Interesting implications.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:42 AM
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The problem of criminal eavesdropping is so far off the hook, that its downright unbelievable. Go to the yellow pages for private investigators in any majior city and you will see that many offer "bug sweeping' services. That should tell you something. Criminal eavesdropping in this country is a very large underground industry for gaining info for any number of reasons. I am talking about placing listening devices in homes. The fact that there is no outrage over the way this Mitt vid was gained should also be a word to the wise.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


Welcome to true investigative journalism. This is what your MSM is SUPPOSED to do, and actually used to do, before they became lazy and started taking their "news" from the mouths of politicians.

I don't give a damn if it is deemed to be illegal, this is what real journalism looks like, and it's about time people started remembering what news is supposed to be.

Stop swallowing what you're told and reading what "journalists" are told to tell you.

Real journalism comes with risk, Mitt is just butt-hurt that this came out instead of all the "approved" lines he feeds the lazy journalists who don't have the right to call themselves that.
edit on 19-9-2012 by detachedindividual because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by antonia
If it was illegal Romney's camp would already be doing something against Mother Jones considering the state the Romney campaign is in at the moment. The fact that they aren't is enough to tell you it's probably legal.
edit on 19-9-2012 by antonia because: added a thought



Well its like Nixon said when he got caught......."its something both parties having been guilty doing for years".



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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If it was $50,000 a plate, isn't that all the more reason to consider it private? And if it really was in a private home, it probably is intrusion of privacy, HOWEVER, I think Romney is benefitting from this exposure despite the democrats wishes that it destroy Romney. The democrats should just be happy this is distracting from the mid east fiasco.

Politics as usual.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by antonia
If it was illegal Romney's camp would already be doing something against Mother Jones considering the state the Romney campaign is in at the moment. The fact that they aren't is enough to tell you it's probably legal.
edit on 19-9-2012 by antonia because: added a thought


I don't think his response can be the guage to determine it's legality. His challenging the legality of it may not look good for him, hence why he called for the entire recording to be released.

Which, as Loam pointed out above, is not possible, as the person recording "failed" to get the entire recording, allegedly.


edit on 19-9-2012 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by loam
Here is an additional interesting tidbit:



Disclosing recordings: The state prohibits the disclosure of any intercepted oral or electronic communication if that person knows or has reason to know the information was obtained in violation of the state’s wiretapping statutes. Fla. Stat. § 934.03(1)(c). Similar bars exist for individuals who distribute images in violation of the state’s video voyeurism law. Fla. Stat. § 810.145(3), (4).



Interesting implications.


Yes, these were things I was disclosing in my opening post. The article I was quoting from pertained to journalists in particular, but I seriously doubt the person that did this recording was a journalist, but a private individual. They did get it into the hands of a journalist, which is where Mother Jones comes in, as well as all outlets that ran the story.




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