Social Question

YoKoolAid's avatar

Do you think it's an invasion of privacy to listen to this cassette tape?

Asked by YoKoolAid (2424points) June 1st, 2011

Back in 1994 I was 11 and my brother was 16. Him and his group of friends were ‘troublemakers’ in the eyes of my parents and they were concerned. They set up a tape recorder that would record incoming and outgoing phone calls to monitor his behavior, and long story short- I’m now in possession of the tape from that recorder.

I always thought the spy-phone thing was a little extreme in this case….there weren’t any violent crimes being committed, they were pretty much just sneaking out at night and smoking pot. I only listened to the first 5 minutes of the tape so far, I just think it’s interesting to hear what I sounded like when I was 11. Do you think it’s unethical to listen to this tape?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

You are 28 and your brother is now 33. Let him know what you happened upon and see what he thinks. I would venture that after 17 years, your parents would think it is funny.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m not seeing the problem. I bet everyone would get a good laugh.

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @bkcunningham. Who was recorded? Mostly your brother or anyone who made phone calls? Did everyone know the calls were being recorded? I would ask those who were recorded and then listen or not based on their responses. Even though it is many years on, it is still an invasion of privacy, so I would ask the question. Just in case people involved are still sensitive about it. Chances are though, people will be just fine.

WasCy's avatar

I think you’re right to be conscious of the “invasion” aspect of this. While I agree with others that there would probably be no ill effects to listening to the whole tape and kidding your brother over his youthful transgressions (and your parents for their suspicions and attempts to spy on him – or both of you), I think the best thing to do would be:
1. Destroy the tape without listening to another minute
2. Tell your brother that you had it, and tell him about the several minutes that you did listen to it
3. Tell him everything and anything that you can remember about hearing (without listening again)
4. Assure him that it’s gone, and you’ll never say another word about it.

The thing is, until you actually listen to the tape, you won’t know what else is on it. And once heard, you can’t un-hear things. Who knows what crimes and misdemeanors he may have committed? Pretty much anything outside of murder has already had a statute of limitations expiration, so all that’s going to happen is embarrassment. But you’d elevate yourself in your brother’s eyes, I would think, if you could tell him honestly that you resisted the temptation – there right in front of you, and yours for the taking – to take this unwarranted peek into his past.

Do the honorable thing and revel in the feeling of honor that you’ll deserve to feel. Destroy the tape.

HungryGuy's avatar

Give it to your brother. He has a right to listen to it before you destroy it. Then let him decide whether to destroy it or to offer to let you listen to it..

marinelife's avatar

I would ask your brother.

jrpowell's avatar

I would love to have something like this.

Wendy is in the pool, I’m going to sneak a peak at her boobs.
My mom is such a bitch.
Wanna steal some chromies?
I borrowed Metriod from Pete. SLUMBER PARTY

laineybug's avatar

You should ask your brother before you listen to any more of it. If he says it’s okay, then go ahead and listen, but if he doesn’t you should get rid of it.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Does he know that your parents tape recorded him? He might be ticked off with them if he didn’t.

The two of you… a case of beer… hot wings… the tape recording… sounds like a brother bonding moment. Just remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. What happened in the past, stays in the past.

ratboy's avatar

There’s a remote possibility that you might be able to use the tape as the basis for an extortion scheme.

bkcunningham's avatar

That is a good point @BarnacleBill.

YoKoolAid's avatar

@Bellatrix It recorded all calls incoming and outgoing, so it recorded everyone. At the time I didn’t know calls were being recorded.

@BarnacleBill You know, I’m not sure if he knew calls were being recorded. That’s a good point, that could be kinda bad if I asked him about it and that was the first he ever heard about it, right?

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would ask your parents if he knows about it. Do your parents know you have the tape?

roundsquare's avatar

This seems pretty clear cut to me. Its up to your brother… he was the one recorded. There is a good chance he’ll probably not care but there is also a chance there is something very private on the tapes.

punkrockworld's avatar

I would listen to it…. I’m surprised you haven’t already. I know myself… I would listen to it and destroy it and never mention it to anyone again!

BarnacleBill's avatar

It could open up a can of worms between him and your parents.

I think this is like eavesdropping or reading a journal. If you happen to decide to listen to the tape, you can never, ever mention to anyone that you listened to it, or anything you heard on it.

Your parents should have destroyed it long ago. Perhaps you should return it to them.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther