“No-party consent” is the law of the land
Thursday, Jun 19, 2014
* When the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping law in March, many rejoiced. The overly harsh felony punishment for recording clearly public conversations and events was clearly being abused by law enforcement to harass individuals who were only attempting to protect themselves.
But with the Court’s action, we’ve gone from a crazily strict “all-party consent” statute to an insane “no-party consent” situation.
Not only can I now secretly record a private conversation with you without your knowledge, I can legally record a conversation between you and someone else without either of you knowing what I’m doing.
In other words, if I had wanted to (and I didn’t… I’m just sayin’) I could’ve recorded secret legislative party caucus meetings during the spring session and there was legally nothing that anybody could’ve done about it. Again, I wouldn’t do such a thing, but I could’ve if I had wanted to.
* I meant to write about that during the last couple weeks of session to spur some action, but it just fell through the cracks, as did the legislation designed to restore some common sense protections into the law. But various disagreements between law enforcement and privacy rights activists and between the House and the Senate killed the bill.
Illinois Public Radio has more…
I’m not so sure about that. I plan to write more about this for subscribers in the coming days, but there are some very real disagreements between the two chambers over how to proceed. And until those are resolved, we’re gonna continue to have no-party consent in Illinois.
By the way, there are clear constitutional protections which cover law enforcement’s behavior. They don’t have carte blanche, but private citizens do.