Illinois Governor signs new eavesdropping law
Illinois Governor signs new eavesdropping law

[JURIST] Illinois Governor Patt Quinn [official webpage] on Tuesday signed into law a bill that establishes new rules over how private conversations may be recorded. The new law requires [Chicago Tribune report] that all parties involved in a private conversation give their permission to be recorded. Under the law such a conversation is defined as any oral communication between two or more people in which the parties have a reasonable expectation the discussion will remain private. The new bill includes a number of changes [Huffington Post report] from the former legislation. The previous eavesdropping law was among the strictest in the nation, making it illegal to record anybody, even in public, without their permission. In March the Illinois supreme court [official website] declared [JURIST report] the state’s eavesdropping law unconstitutional, holding the law was overly broad and violated basic free speech rights.

The Illinois eavesdropping law is a controversial measure within Illinois’ government and the national judicial system. In early December, the Illinois general assembly [official website] passed [ACLU report] the most recent eavesdropping legislation. In 2012 the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down [JURIST report] a provision of the law that barred people from taking video of police officers performing their jobs in public. Later that year the US Supreme Court denied certiorari [order list, PDF] in the case, letting the court of appeals decision stand.