<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Florida's law is similar to one in Maryland that Linda Tripp was
accused of violating by recording conversations with Monica
Lewinsky about her affair with former President Clinton. The charge
was dropped when Lewinksy refused to testify.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Actually, they didn't have a case to begin with. Why? Because the FBI
helped Tripp do some of the taping, she was given immunity by the special prosecutor for the other recordings... and there was a certain level of knowledge/consent. The charge against Tripp was pure harassment for being a "whistle-blower" and she was also protected under the Federal "whistle-blower's" rules.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The most notable Florida case involved a couple who were fined $500 each in 1997 for using a scanner to tape former House Speaker
Newt Gingrich's cellular phone discussion of his ethics problems.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This couple were allowed to cop a plea from the more serious felonies of "illegally altering a scanning device to pick up cordless phone frequencies" and "illegal wiretapping" (each worth 5-20 years at Club Fed) to "possession of an illegal scanning device" (a misdemeanor that ranges from the slap on the wrist they got up to 2 years). A law was passed years ago that made it 1) illegal to modify scanners to pick up cordless/cellular phone frequencies and 2) require the manufacturers of scanners to make thier products "not easily converted to pick up cordless/cellular phone frequencies". The scanner that was used to intercept Gingrich's conversations on his cordless
phone (not a cellular) was a newer model with extensive and deliberate alterations to pick up the specific frequencies his cordless phone operated on. The reason the couple ended up getting convicted at all was because their lame story that they just happened
to be in Gingrich's neighborhood and just happened
to have the scanner on and just happened
to pick up his conversations and just happened
to have a tape recorder handy... well, even though there was a push from the top to cut them loose, the Dems figured out right quick that if these folks got a slide, then someone else might just happen
to start picking up their
I heard about an LEO that had one of these illegal scanners in his patrol car and would cruise neighborhoods listening for people talking about "illegal activities".
Fortunately, that became a moot (or in this case a mute
) point with the new digital technologies. New digital cell phones are virtually impossible to crack and the newer cordless phones that run in the 900 MHz band with DSS (digital spread spectrum) transmissions can't simply be picked up by a scanner anymore. If you have an analog cell phone, think about changing to digital... besides it's cheaper. If you have an old analog or lower direct bandwidth cordless phone, think about buying a new one... besides it's better reception and goes farther.
Just a friendly tip from a big "cheshire" cat.