Anthony P. Savarese Jr.

Sunday, November 08, 1959

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Savarese, chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Privacy of Communication of New York, answers questions about wiretapping.

Jay Nelson Tuck moderates.

Panelists: Jack Parker, Bill Benderman, Mike Wall, Tom Pray, and Barbara Benmolche


Wiretapping is a necessary weapon to fight organized crime. Investigators need a court order. The evil is eavesdropping. The technique is wiretapping. No support of the claim that police officers have been illegally obtaining wiretaps. Responds to a Times report that accuses the police of using illegal wiretaps. Use of wiretaps is not admissible in civil cases. It is possible to distort tapes, and these are considered by the prosecution and defense. There is little chance that a doctored tape can get by in court. Hot pursuit doctrine applies only to secret microphone: police can put the microphone on and then ask for a court order. FBI cannot use wiretaps. Considering the problem we have with subversives and the "cold front war," it's unrealistic and impractical to not allow Federal officials to tap and use microphones. You must fight more modernistic crimes with more modernistic equipment. On a federal level, we are way behind the times. An individual cannot eavesdrop on others with microphones or bugs; he can but his own home. Telephone tariff requirement says you have to use the beeping noise to tell people when they are being recorded. 900 - 1,000 taps are allowed per year, according to studies. Use of illegal wire taps is a felony in New York, with a penalty of 2 years in prison. There are several places between the telephone company and your home where your line can be tapped. McGuinness case. Not in charge of protecting people from having their lines tapped. You can't tell if your line is tapped.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72080
Municipal archives id: LT8856


Bill Benderman, Barbara Benmolche, Jack Parker, Tom Pray, Anthony P. Savarese, Jay Nelson Tuck and Mike Wall


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