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It is a misdemeanor in Iowa under general criminal laws for a third party to tap into a communication of any kind, including telephone conversations. If the person listening or recording is a sender or recipient of the communication, or is openly present and participating in the conversation, the communication can be recorded without the consent of the other parties. Iowa Code § 727.8.

Iowa also has more specific legislation regarding the interception of communications that expressly allows the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications through use of a mechanical device by a party to the communication, or with the consent of at least one party, in the absence of any criminal or tortious intent. Iowa Code § 808B.2.

Illegal interception and disclosure of intercepted information under this legislation are felonies and anyone whose communications have been intercepted is expressly provided with injunctive relief and damages at a rate of $100 a day or $1,000, whichever is higher. Iowa Code § 808B.8.  However, individuals cannot legally record conversations while not present.

Inside Iowa