—Governor Pat Quinn—
Phone >> 312-814-2121
Email here >> http://tinyurl.com/mucaldg
Story here >> http://tinyurl.com/omx9ean
EDIT: This story has caused quite the stirring conversation out there on the web. Some media outlets are reporting that it doesn’t make recording police officers illegal, while others are corroborating our report.
The legislation clearly states, that recording any law enforcement or government official during any private communication will be considered eavesdropping; a felony, punishable by jail time.
Private communication is defined in the legislation as such:
For the purposes of this Article, “private conversation” means any oral communication between 2 or more persons, whether in person or transmitted between the parties by wire or other means, when one or more of the parties intended the communication to be of a private nature under circumstances reasonably justifying that expectation.
Reasonable expectation is defined in the legislation as such:
A reasonable expectation shall include any expectation recognized by law, including, but not limited to, an expectation derived from a privilege, immunity, or right established by common law, Supreme Court rule, or the Illinois or United States Constitution.
The problem arises when we try to define reasonable expectation, it is left up to arbitrary interpretation. As per the legislation: any police officer, at any time, in Illinois can simply say they have a reasonable expectation of privacy and therefore charge a person filming with a felony.
It would be particularly naive, especially when looking at their recent history of doing so, for anyone to assume that Illinois police would not use this bill to arrest people who film them.
There is however, a simple fix to this problem of a vaguely defined law and that is to clearly define it. Add a line which clearly states that “filming police in public is a constitutionally protected right and cannot be infringed.”