Ars Technica reports a federal appeals court this week heard arguments in a lawsuit involving the arrest of a Boston lawyer who used his cellphone to record what he said were police punching a suspect on Boston Common in 2007.
Many states have "one-party notification" wiretapping laws that allow any party to a conversation to secretly record it. But under the strict "two-party notification" laws in Massachusetts, it's a crime to "secretly record" audio communications unless "all parties to such communication" have given their consent. The police arrested [Simon] Glik for breaking this law. For good measure, they also charged Glikâ€”who did no more than stand a few feet away with his cell phoneâ€”with "aiding the escape of a prisoner" and "disturbing the peace."
After the charges were dismissed, Glik, with help from the ACLU, sued the city and the officers. The appeals court will decide whether the officers have "qualified immunity" from the suit because they were performing their duties at the time.