August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Indiana bars the recording or interception of any telephonic or electronic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its video voyeurism law. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Electronic communications: The statute makes it a felony to intercept any telephone or electronic communication unless at least one party gives their consent. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-31.5-2-176. Because the provision of the statute dealing with electronic communications applies to “any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature,” consent likewise is required to disclose the contents of text or e-mail messages sent between wireless devices. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-31.5-2-110.

Hidden cameras: The state’s video voyeurism law makes it a misdemeanor to photograph the private bodily areas of a person without consent. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-4-5(d). The penalty escalates to a felony if the photo is taken in a private area such as a restroom, shower or dressing room. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-4-5(b)(2).

Criminal penalties: Knowingly or intentionally intercepting a communication in violation of Indiana’s wiretap laws is a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33.5-5-5(b). Misdemeanor violations of the state’s video voyeurism law are punishable by one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-3-2. A felony charge of the voyeurism law carries penalties of up to six years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-7.

Civil suits: Civil liability for intercepting, disclosing or using the contents of a confidential communication in violation of the state’s wiretapping law may require the payment of actual and punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33.5-5-4.

Disclosing recordings: The state’s video voyeurism law makes it a Class D felony offense to publish, transmit or make images captured without the subject’s consent available on the Internet. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-4-5(e).