WIUM Tristates Public Radio

eavesdropping law

  Since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state's eavesdropping law in March, it's been legal to record audio of someone without asking permission. But legislators are working on a replacement.

The Supreme Court found the old law overly broad. It was a crime even to record in public, where people shouldn't really have an expectation of privacy. Because of that, Illinois' law was considered one of the strictest in the nation.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss Illinois’ eavesdropping law, which was just declared unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Shop Talk - May 15

May 15, 2012

The panelists talk about a federal appeals court ruling on Illinois' eavesdropping law.

The Chicago Tribune reports the Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals in Chicago found the law “likely violates” the First Amendment. The court ordered authorities to stop enforcing it.

The law made it illegal to audio record police officers in public without their consent. Violators faced harsh prison sentences.

The matter became an issue because of the NATO summit scheduled to be held in Chicago on May 20 & 21, 2012.

A proposal that would allow people to make recordings of police passed out of an Illinois House committee.

Under current law it's legal to make a video of police. But if the recording captures sound, it's a felony that can land someone in jail for years.

Legislators approved the measure (HB 3944) despite objections from law enforcement.