Tiny spy gear can land you in big legal trouble

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Foti Kallergis digs into what the law says about tiny spy gear

There's a surge in the sales of covert audio recording devices, according to one Houston area spy business.

"They sell more than cameras actually," said Sidney May with Spy Emporium.

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Spy shop employees and legal eagles agree: Know the law



May said audio recording devices that look like USB flash drives are a hot item. They sell for about $100 and are voice activated.

"You can practically place it anywhere. You can sew it into clothing. You can place it underneath chairs. You can place it anywhere if you're creative enough to know where to hide it," said May.

Legal experts warn about the legalities in using the audio recorder devices after a mother was arrested recently for sewing an audio recorder into her daughter's stuffed animal and recorded hundreds of conversations between her daughter and ex-husband.

"People go to extremes when they are dealing with custody cases," said family law attorney Lauren Waddell.

"It's okay to record conversations as long as you are a party to the conversation. But when you start putting recording devices somewhere else and not being present for a party to the conversation, that's a problem. That's a big problem."

Texas is a one-party consent state. You are allowed to record conversations so long as you are a party to that conversation.

"We always tell them to consult with an attorney first before doing anything, because we are not lawyers. We sell the product," said May.
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