American owners of a spy pen recorder ought to be informed that, according to the official United States Department Of Justice website, it is illegal to own or utilize a spy product (meaning, for example, a spy pen, key chain, watch, alarm clock, lamp, etc.) that has a secretive purpose to record audio, while being disguised to look like another object. This action contravenes the wiretapping law of America, 18 U.S.C. # 2512. This law states, in part, that “the sale of possession of devices that are primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications is prohibited”.
However, it should be quickly noted, that this prohibition applies only to the capturing (i.e., recording) of “wire, oral, or electronic communications”, whilst remaining silent on the subject of pictorial or video information. Therefore, usage of a spy pen recorder or camera remains perfectly legitimate withing the continental United States and its adjacent and subject territories. The American public itself is now noticeably used to, thus psychologically insulated against, the ubiquitous usage of surveillance technology in many private, commercial, and semi-public institutions such as banks, casinos, convenience stores, shopping malls, and within the private property of many rich and famous celebrities and political figures. For example, about three quarters of small businesses routinely record all who enter their location on closed-circuit television.
Likewise,pen camerasare small, self-contained surveillance systems which can be considered in the same breath as closed circuit television cameras when being utilized for the purpose of surveillance. Examples of relevant public spaces where such a spy pen recorder would be operated free of legal consequences include public parks, public as well as private parking areas (both in and out of doors), neighborhood residential streets, interchange areas of public transport, and areas outside of which pedestrians and patrons tend to congregate, such as subway stations, airports, and sports arenas.
However, as noted at the beginning of this article, it is imperative to use a spy pen recorder which is recognizable as not transgressing the strict definition of lawful surveillance, and which is thus legal to operate within the territory one currently resides in, whether as a citizen of that nation, or as a mere tourist, ostensible or legitimate. Usage, therefore, of a spy pen camera recorder which receives, captures, and transmits pictorial (video) rather than audio information falls safely within the bounds of current United States legal definition, and is therefore eminently defensible as a means of gathering information, and is likewise admissible as legitimately gathered evidence in a court of law.
As long as such clearly stipulated and nationally recognized legal mandates are complied with, one’s usage of a spy pen recorder should meet with no unwarranted or unforeseen consequences, either personally or legally. The owner of a spy pen camera should have a clear understanding of one’s rights with regard to the ownership and usage of such a device, and the legal privileges and responsibilities accruing to him. Once equipped, there is nothing between him and the object for which the spy pen is used.