Court strikes blow to Illinois eavesdropping law

May 8, 2012

The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal court in Chicago has blocked enforcement of Illinois' eavesdropping law in cases where someone is recording a police officer.

The law makes it a felony to make an audio recording of a conversation unless all parties agree. It sets a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison if a police officer is recorded. With the NATO summit coming to Chicago this month, activists had feared protesters and bloggers could run afoul of the law if they used smartphones or video cameras to record police responding to protests.
Tuesday's ruling stemmed from a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
In its opinion, the court says "the Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests."