Both federal and state statutes govern the use of electronic recording equipment. The unlawful use of such equipment can give rise not only to a civil suit by the “injured” party, but also criminal prosecution.
Although most of these statutes address wiretapping and eavesdropping(listening in on conversations of others without their knowledge), they usually apply to electronic recording of any conversations, including phone calls and in-person interviews.
Federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most of the states also have extended the law to cover in-person conversations.