Recording threatening calls
I suggest recording every phone conversation with a troll. If the situation develops as I expect (similar to UK — investigation and disciplining), these recordings may help investigators. Also, in the unlikely scenario of actual trial, these recordings may be played in front of the jury, which certainly won’t help a troll defend his “good faith” methods.
One of this blog’s readers also suggests reporting trolls to law enforcement authorities. I don’t know if it works, but it is worth trying — there is nothing to lose if acting discretely. But keep in mind: if the troll learns what you did, he may go after you.
In order to make sure the recording is legal, you must notify the troll that you are recording. This Wikipedia article explains the US recording laws.
The notification is necessary because California is a two-party state, and
If a caller in a one-party state records a conversation with someone in a two-party state that caller is subject to the stricter of the laws and must have consent from all callers (Cf. Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney Inc., 39 Cal. 4th 95 (2006)).
If you and your troll are not from California, refer to the list of two-party states in the article.
Accepted forms of notification for recording by a telephone company
The FCC defines accepted forms of notification for telephone recording by telephone companies as:
- Prior verbal (oral) or written consent of all parties to the telephone conversation.
- Verbal (oral) notification before the recording is made. (This is the most common)
- An audible beep tone repeated at regular intervals during the course of the call.
Note that the law re: verbal is not worded “consent” but “notification” Notification as the FCC defines.