Harvard Law School Controversy: Recording Device Unearthed At Harvard Student Center?
Harvard law school is once more facing controversy. Reclaim Harvard Law School protesters alleged that a voice-activated recording device was found at a student center, bringing questions in the exercise of the freedom of speech.
Observer mentioned that on Tuesday, four students of Harvard Law School found a Sony recorder in Belinda Hall, the moniker Reclaim protesters gave to Caspersen Student Center. Protesters have been occupying Belinda Hall since February and it was recently that they unearthed a voice recorder. It was located under a table, with a small Velcro used for attaching the device to the table.
Recording without parties' consent is a criminal act.
Unfazed by the turn of events, protesters posted a statement at the Caspersen entrance, which states, "For your information: Earlier this week, this voice-activated hidden recorder was found beneath a table in this room." Being students of law, protesters have firsthand knowledge of the number of Massachusetts laws violated for recording conversations without the parties' consent.
Such offense is penalized by imprisonment of up to five years. Before conversations can be legally recorded, consent of both parties must be obtained.
According to Boston Globe, the students in the Caspersen Center often discuss sensitive issues involving sexual assault and race. With the discovery of the voice-activated recorder, they now have fears that it is used to eavesdrop in on their conversations.
Rena Karefa-Johnson, a member of Reclaim Harvard Law, said that they have already consulted with an attorney "to ensure the protection of all potentially harmed parties." There is no dispute that the act of recording conversations without the consent of the party is a criminal act.
No possible witnesses were found.
Harvard Law School administrators acknowledged the allegations and the Harvard University Police Department has already been apprised of the matter. Since there's no video camera monitors in the area, there is a possibility that efforts expended to catch the culprit might prove futile.
Members of the protest group will be sweeping the hall to find out if there are other recording devices left. Harvard Law School authorities are expected to implement some concrete action regarding the matter.