Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Illinois—again—moves to ban recording the police

Anti-First Amendment legislation awaits governor's signature.

Apparently the state of Illinois didn't get the memo that recording the police is all the rage these days. That's because awaiting outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn's signature is legislation that would ban the practice in many circumstances.
Just last week, the state's House (by a 106 to 7 vote) and Senate (46 to 4) passed the measure. It seeks to get around an Illinois Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that struck down a previous law making it a crime to record police.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute:
The new version is nearly as bad as the old one.
Under the new bill, a citizen could rarely be sure whether recording any given conversation without permission is legal. The bill would make it a felony to surreptitiously record any "private conversation," which it defines as any "oral communication between 2 or more persons," where at least one person involved had a "reasonable expectation" of privacy.
When does the person you’re talking to have a reasonable expectation of privacy? The bill doesn’t say. And that’s not something an ordinary person can be expected to figure out.
A law must be clear enough for citizens to know in advance whether a particular action is a crime. This bill doesn’t meet that standard, which should be reason enough for a court to strike it down if it becomes law.
Read more http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/illinois-again-moves-to-ban-recording-the-police/