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FBI Eavesdropping Outside Courthouse

U.S District Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton out of Oakland California has ruled that the use of recording devices on citizens outside of the courthouse by the FBI does not violate their Fourth Amendment rights because there was no expectation of privacy on the courthouse steps or nearby areas. These conversations were in normal speaking voices and some of them were even in elevated tones due to construction nearby which the judge asserts that it shows the conversations were not private and there was no effort to conceal what was said.

In her opinion of the case she said that while the “court recognizes why the defendants would feel uneasy about the recording of often very personal conversations outside of the courthouse, it is unrealistic that anyone believe that having a conversation in a public place like that can be private due to the large number of video cameras on street corners and in the hands of any person with a smart phone.” So if you are having a private conversation with someone make sure that you are in a private place as well. If you have any questions about this or any other legal questions please contact us at 904-868-5665

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