Kudos to the ACLU, the police shouldn’t have rights that citizens don’t.
It’s not unusual or illegal for police officers to flip on a camera as they get out of their squad car to talk to a driver they’ve pulled over.
But in Illinois, a civilian trying to make an audio recording of police in action is breaking the law.
“It’s an unfair and destructive double standard,” said Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago challenging the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which makes it criminal to record not only private but also public conversations made without consent of all parties.
With cell phones that record audio and video in almost every pocket, the ability to capture public conversations, including those involving the police, is only a click away. That raises the odds any police action could wind up being recorded for posterity.
Opponents of the act say that could be a good thing and certainly shouldn’t lead to criminal charges.
The ACLU argues that the act violates the First Amendment and has been used to thwart people who simply want to monitor police activity.
(click to continue reading ACLU challenges Illinois eavesdropping act – chicagotribune.com.)
and isn’t this backwards?
Illinois is one of only a few states, including Massachusetts and Oregon, where it is illegal to record audio of conversations that take place in public settings without the permission of everyone involved.((unless you are a cop, of course))
Illinois’ eavesdropping ban was extended in 1994 to include open and obvious audio recording, even if it takes place on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists and in a volume audible to the “unassisted human ear.”
The police can record you without asking your permission, but even on a public street, you can’t video them? Ridiculous.
Miami blogger Carlos Miller has been advocating changing these sorts of laws for quite a while. If you read a few postings there, you’ll become progressively more angry at police state tactics.