“Evading” the Anti-Wire Tapping Law


Have you tried calling your mobile networks hotline or your credit card company and talked to the call agent?  Maybe, you can hear a recorded message prior to your conversation which may sound like this: “…your conversation with our call agent may be recorded for future reference.

Maybe you also overheard the radio announcer over your favorite radio station: “sir/mam…live ka karon sa DYxx…

If you proceed talking to the call agent you’re giving the company your consent for the conversation recording. Similarly, if an interviewee allows the on-air interview then it would be construed that he/she is giving the consent for the recording of such interview.

The consent of both parties in a recorded conversation is required prior to the recording under the Anti-Wire Tapping Law (RA 4200):

Sec. 1: It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record…

However the law allows recording of such conversation when authorized by a written order of the Court but only a peace officer can be granted with such order when the purpose of such recording is relevant to the investigation of cases involving the crime of treason, espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion, sedition, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion and sedition, inciting to rebellion and sedition, kidnapping, and other offenses against national security.

Unknown to many, mere possession of a copy of the recorded conversation which you already knew that the recording was done illegally is already a violation of the law. Also, replaying the recorded conversation and passing a copy of the content or transcripts of the illegally recorded conversation to others is a crime under the Anti-Wire Tapping Law.

When the “Hello Garci” tape became controversial many had feasted on the tape recordings without fear of being charged in court. Who cared to file a case anyway? No Gloria, no Garci can dare to file the case against those who “promoted” the controversial conversation which led the President to do the unfamous “I am sorry” speech over a nationally televised statement.

For educational purpose, as discussed in my Media Laws and Ethics class at the USJR, i am attaching here (without fear:) ) a transcript of an excerpt of the “Hello Garci” conversation: Hello Garci (Complete Transcript)

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