2018 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title LVIII - Public Justice
Chapter 570-A - Wiretapping and Eavesdropping
Section 570-A:2 - Interception and Disclosure of Telecommunication or Oral Communications Prohibited.
I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without the consent of all parties to the communication, the person:
(a) Wilfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any telecommunication or oral communication;
(b) Wilfully uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:
(1) Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in telecommunication, or
(2) Such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication, or
(3) Such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on premises of any business or other commercial establishment, or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment; or
(c) Wilfully discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any telecommunication or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a telecommunication or oral communication in violation of this paragraph; or
(d) Willfully uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any telecommunication or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a telecommunication or oral communication in violation of this paragraph.
I-a. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter or without consent of all parties to the communication, the person knowingly intercepts a telecommunication or oral communication when the person is a party to the communication or with the prior consent of one of the parties to the communication, but without the approval required by RSA 570-A:2, II(d).
II. It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for:
(a) Any operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of any communication common carrier whose facilities are used in the transmission of a telecommunication, to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or to the protection of the rights or property of the carrier of such communication; provided, however, that said communication common carriers shall not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.
(b) An officer, employee, or agent of any communication common carrier to provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to an investigative or law enforcement officer who, pursuant to this chapter, is authorized to intercept a telecommunication or oral communication.
(c) Any law enforcement officer, when conducting investigations of or making arrests for offenses enumerated in this chapter, to carry on the person an electronic, mechanical or other device which intercepts oral communications and transmits such communications by radio.
(d) An investigative or law enforcement officer in the ordinary course of the officer's duties pertaining to the conducting of investigations of organized crime, offenses enumerated in this chapter, solid waste violations under RSA 149-M:9, I and II, or harassing or obscene telephone calls to intercept a telecommunication or oral communication, when such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception; provided, however, that no such interception shall be made unless the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, or an assistant attorney general designated by the attorney general determines that there exists a reasonable suspicion that evidence of criminal conduct will be derived from such interception. Oral authorization for the interception may be given and a written memorandum of said determination and its basis shall be made within 72 hours thereafter. The memorandum shall be kept on file in the office of the attorney general.
(e) Where the offense under investigation is defined in RSA 318-B, the attorney general to delegate authority under RSA 570-A:2, II(d) to a county attorney. The county attorney may exercise this authority only in the county where the county attorney serves. The attorney general shall, prior to the effective date of this subparagraph, adopt specific guidelines under which the county attorney may give authorization for such interceptions. Any county attorney may further delegate authority under this section to any assistant county attorney in the county attorney's office.
(f) An officer, employee, or agent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the normal course of employment and in discharge of the monitoring responsibilities exercised by the commission in the enforcement of chapter 5 of title 47 of the United States Code, to intercept a telecommunication, or oral communication transmitted by radio, or to disclose or use the information thereby obtained.
(g) Any law enforcement officer, when conducting investigations of or making arrests for offenses enumerated in this chapter, to carry on the person an electronic, mechanical or other device which intercepts oral communications and transmits such communications by radio.
(h) Any municipal, county, or state fire or police department, the division of emergency services and communications as created by RSA 21-P:48-a, including the bureau of emergency communications as defined by RSA 106-H, or any independently owned emergency service, and their employees in the course of their employment, when receiving or responding to emergency calls, to intercept, record, disclose or use a telecommunication, while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or the protection of life or property.
(i) Any public utility regulated by the public utilities commission, and its employees in the course of employment, when receiving central dispatch calls or calls for emergency service, or when responding to central dispatch calls or calls for emergency service, to intercept, record, disclose or use a telecommunication, while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of service, or the protection of life and property. Any public utility recording calls pursuant to this subparagraph shall provide an automatic tone warning device which automatically produces a distinct signal that is repeated at regular intervals during the conversation. The public utilities commission may adopt rules relative to the recording of emergency calls under RSA 541-A.
(j) A uniformed law enforcement officer to make an audio recording in conjunction with a video recording of a routine stop performed in the ordinary course of patrol duties on any way as defined by RSA 259:125, provided that the officer shall first give notification of such recording to the party to the communication unless it is not reasonable or practicable under the circumstances.
(k)(1) The owner or operator of a school bus, as defined in RSA 259:96, to make an audio recording in conjunction with a video recording of the interior of the school bus while students are being transported to and from school or school activities, provided that the school board authorizes audio recording, the school district provides notification of such recording to the parents and students as part of the district's pupil safety and violence prevention policy required under RSA 193-F, and there is a sign informing the occupants of such recording prominently displayed on the school bus.
(2) Prior to any audio recording, the school board shall hold a public hearing to determine whether audio recording should be authorized in school buses, and if authorized, the school board shall establish an administrative procedure to address the length of time which the recording is retained, ownership of the recording, limitations on who may listen to the recording, and provisions for erasing or destroying the recording. Such administrative procedure shall permit the parents or legal guardian of any student against whom a recording is being used as part of a disciplinary proceeding to listen to the recording. In no event, however, shall the recording be retained for longer than 10 school days unless the school district determines that the recording is relevant to a disciplinary proceeding, or a court orders that it be retained for a longer period of time. An audio recording shall only be reviewed if there has been a report of an incident or a complaint relative to conduct on the school bus, and only that portion of the audio recording which is relevant to the incident or complaint shall be reviewed.
(l) A law enforcement officer in the ordinary course of the officer's duties using any device capable of making an audio or video recording, or both, and which is attached to and used in conjunction with a TASER or other similar electroshock device. Any person who is the subject of such recording shall be informed of the existence of the audio or video recording, or both, and shall be provided with a copy of such recording at his or her request.
(m) A law enforcement officer to make a body-worn recording pursuant to RSA 105-D.
Source. 1969, 403:1. 1975, 385:2. 1977, 588:16. 1979, 282:1. 1985, 263:2. 1988, 25:3. 1990, 96:1; 191:2. 1992, 174:2. 1995, 195:1; 280:10, I, II, III. 1996, 251:24, eff. Aug. 9, 1996; 274:1-5, eff. Jan. 1, 1997. 2002, 257:11, eff. July 1, 2002. 2003, 319:129, eff. Sept. 4, 2003. 2004, 171:21, eff. July 24, 2004. 2006, 69:1, eff. June 24, 2006. 2008, 139:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2008; 361:11, eff. July 11, 2008. 2010, 155:4, eff. July 1, 2010. 2016, 169:1, eff. June 3, 2016; 322:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.