Recording Cops Is No Longer Illegal in IllinoisBy JOSEPH CELENTINO
Courthouse News Service
Jan. 15, 2013
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CHICAGO (CN) - Illinois has finally abandoned a controversial eavesdropping law that made it a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, to record law-enforcement officers while they were on duty.
The law, originally passed in 1961, criminalizes the nonconsensual recording of most oral communication without the consent of all parties. It permits the taking of photos, notes and silent video of a conversation. Subsequent amendments carved out immunity for law-enforcement officers and for audio recordings related to news reporting, but enhanced the punishments for private citizens who record of police officers.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in August 2010, citing concerns that its members would face prosecution while carrying out the organization's "police accountability program." This program involves recording officers who are performing their duties in public places, with special attention given to recording political protests and demonstrations.