Facebook Live sparks controversy, results in the student’s draining guilty plea

The Facebook logo is displayed in an image of a photo taken in Bordeaux, France, Feb. 1, 2017. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)

A student and political activist in Maryland has pleaded guilty to the illegal wiretapping of a conference staffer, and the introduction of the conversation on Facebook Live without permission.

The prosecutor’s office Monday said a plea agreement was reached with Jake Burdett, a 21-year-old Salisbury University student. Under the agreement, Burdett, receives probation before judgment and 100 hours of community service.


In a statement, the public prosecutor said that Burdett, a lawyer for the group Maryland Marijuana Justice, participated in a rally in front of the Salisbury Office for Congressman Andy Harris in October 2018. “When a Congressional Staffer of Congressman Harris offered to meet with the group, Burdett, and a few others agreed to meet with the Staffer in his office, that can only seat a few people,” prosecutors explained. “The people of this small group on their phones, several members of Congressman Harris staff reported to the group that they were not allowed to record in the office because of the long office policy.”

Burdett, however, took the whole assembly and streamed on Facebook Live, without that the Congress of the pitchfork consent. He was charged with the illegal recording of the Congress of the pitchfork and the illegal distribution of the sound.


“We need to make sure that people respect the boundaries of the Maryland wiretap laws,” said Emmet Davitt, Maryland’s public ministry in the statement. “Mr. Burdett, and apologized for the Congress of the pitchfork and the State felt a Probation Before Judgment, together with community service was the appropriate sentence.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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