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Intercepting or recording any wire, oral, cellular or cordless phone conversation is a misdemeanor in Arkansas, unless the person recording is a party to the conversation, or one of the parties to the conversation has given prior consent. However, it is not unlawful for law enforcement investigations. A.C.A. § 5-60-120

(a) It is unlawful for a person to intercept a wire, landline, oral, telephonic communication, or wireless communication, and to record or possess a recording of the communication unless the person is a party to the communication or one (1) of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception and recording.

(b) Any violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c)  (1) It is not unlawful for the act to be committed by a person acting under the color of law.

(2) It is an exception to the application of subsection (a) of this section that an officer, employee, or agent of a public telephone utility or company that is licensed by a federal or state agency to provide wire or wireless telecommunication service to the public provides information, facilities, or technical assistance to a person acting under the color of law to intercept a wire, wireless, oral, or telephonic communication.

(3) It is not unlawful under this section for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of any public telephone utility or telecommunications provider whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire communication to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of his or her employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his or her service or to the protection of the rights or property of the telecommunications provider or public telephone utility of the communication.

Arkansas law also criminalizes the “interception” of a message transmitted by telegraph or telephone in its public utility laws. Ark. Code § 23-17-107. However, the statute does not prohibit or restrict a Federal Communications Commission licensed amateur radio operator or anyone operating a police scanner from intercepting a communication for pleasure. Ark. Code § 5-60-120(e).

Inside Arkansas