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Alaska

It is a misdemeanor in Alaska to use an eavesdropping device to hear or record a conversation without the consent of at least one party to the conversation, or to disclose or publish information that one knows, or should know, was illegally obtained. Alaska Stat. § 42.20.310. A person who intercepts a private conversation cannot legally divulge or publish the information without consent of at least one party.

According to Alaska Stat. § 42.20.300  Unauthorized publication or use of communications:

(a) Except for a party to a private conversation, a person who receives or assists in receiving, or who transmits or assists in transmitting, a private communication may not divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the communication, except through authorized channels of transmission or reception

(1) to the addressee or the agent or attorney of the addressee;

(2) to a person employed or authorized to forward a communication to its destination;

(3) to proper accounting or distributing officers of the various communicating centers over which the communication may be passed;

(4) to the master of a ship under whom the person is serving;

(5) to another on demand of lawful authority; or

(6) in response to a subpoena issued or order entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) Except as provided in AS 12.37, a person not authorized by a party to the communication may not intentionally intercept a private communication or divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the intercepted communication to any person.

(c) A person who is not entitled to a communication but who has received the communication may not use it or any information contained in it for personal benefit or another’s benefit.

(d) A person who has received a communication and who knows or reasonably should know that the communication and the information contained in it was obtained in violation of this section may not divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the communication or any part of the communication.

(e) A person who has become acquainted with a communication or the information contained in it, and who is not entitled to the communication, may not use the same for personal benefit or another’s benefit, or divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the communication or any part of the communication.

The eavesdropping statute carries a fine of up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail, though suppression of illegally obtained information in court is the only civil penalty authorized. Alaska Stat. § 42.20.330.


Inside Alaska