When a cellular phone conversation is intercepted and taped, and the tape is then anonymously given to someone who turns it over to a radio station to be broadcast, the callers cannot sue the radio station or the supplier of the tape under federal or state wiretap laws since they played no role in the illegal interception, a divided panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

But a dissenting judge said he believed the wiretap laws should apply to those who distribute or broadcast such a tape if they had “reason to know” that the conversation was illegally recorded.

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