Changes to Pa. wiretap law could allow more recording without permission

A change in the Pennsylvania wiretap laws could come this year and Philadelphia’s district attorney is cheering it on.  

Currently to record a person and have that recording admitted in court you need both parties permission.  DA Seth Williams says that can make victims into criminals.

“There are too many victims of incest, too many victims of domestic violence that stand up for themselves and say enough is enough and sometimes create a camera to tape the abuse,” said Williams.  “In the past that would not be admissible in court.”

Williams says it’s important to help with prosecutions.

“It will just give us another tool to help with the prosecutions of people who are generally guilty of domestic violence, rape and incest,” said Williams.

The DA says the change would also allow recording police stops, which is not allowed now.

Pennsylvania’s ACLU opposes the changes.  It says proponents are using technological changes as an excuse to dramatically expand surveillance powers.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal