New eavesdropping law in the works in Illinois

Jun 18, 2014

Since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state's eavesdropping law in March, it's been legal to record audio of someone without asking permission. But legislators are working on a replacement.

The Supreme Court found the old law overly broad. It was a crime even to record in public where people shouldn't really have an expectation of privacy. Because of that, Illinois' law was considered one of the strictest in the nation.

Ed Yohnka, with the Illinois Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, says he wishes the court hadn't struck down the entire law, but sees this as an opportunity for a clean slate. Yohnka says the ACLU wants...

"The continuation of all-party consent, which people in Illinois have really grown accustomed to, but also a bill that would recognize the evolving and changing dynamics of modern technology."

In other words, the law ought to reflect an era in which smart phones mean we can all record audio just about anywhere. Attempts to write a new eavesdropping law continued up to the last day the General Assembly's spring session, but legislation only passed the Senate. Supporters say they think it has a good chance of succeeding during the fall veto session.