Illinois Wiretapping Law Continues to Be Abused by Police

by on December 2, 2011

in Legal

Just, wow.

I’m all for catching the bad guys out there, but this goes too far. As you can see in the above video, the guy who recorded police in public was charged with eavesdropping and faced up to 75 years in jail.  He won the initial case – the local judge dismissed it, citing that the Illinois law was unconstitutional (this should be a complete no-brainer here).

The Illinois legislature and attorney general are apparently idiots though, because the case is being appealed in an effort overturn the lower court’s dismissal.  I was a little shocked at Judge Posner’s comments that were highlighted in the above video, as he’s recognized as one of the sharper appellate judges on the bench today.  I have to believe that those comments were taken somewhat out of context.

In 2011, I can’t believe we are still dealing with such nonsensical applications of eavesdropping laws in light of the First Amendment.  The First Circuit Court of Appeals put a resounding slap to such abuse in the Glik case from earlier this year.  I can’t imagine that the Seventh Circuit could end up with any other result.

I’ll be following this one and post updates when I hear more.

[via PetaPixel]

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{ 7 comments }

1 forkboy1965 December 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

Assuming the dim-witted AG wins does this mean video cameras will have to be removed from police cruisers and roadway intersections as they would ruled as illegal wiretapping?

2 Eric Reagan December 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm

There is apparently an explicit exception for official police use in the Illinois law.

3 forkboy1965 December 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

How convenient.

So everyday citizens on public property can be arrested while the police can video tape what they please, when they please.

Police state anyone?

4 Ashley Groome December 9, 2011 at 12:08 am

What the hell does this have to do with Photography?

5 Eric Reagan December 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Using a camera that captures video likely includes capturing audio, which Illinois law construes as violating a wiretapping law. It’s a felony to violate that law. It affects photographers/videographers’ rights to use cameras in public. I, for one, find this very disturbing and very relevant to photographers.

6 Borsia December 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Ashley;
It matters to photography because one of the things in the bill, that I mentioned below, that can land you in a dark hole is taking suspicious photographs.

If passed you could be arrested and thrown in a prison, no charges, no trial, no phone call and nobody knowing where you are. You could be kept there indefinitely even tortured for being a photographer.

7 Borsia December 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm

As frightening as this is there are far worse things going on.
Included in the $662 Billion defense bill is a provision that allows the government to arrest American citizens and hold them under wraps with no trial, no charges for as long as they like. The fact that this is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest.
Obama has said he will veto the bill, good right?
He wants to veto it because it doesn’t give “enough” power to the government!
This is some scary $hit!
We have to get these creeps out of power!
This is being done by BOTH parties!
We need people who know what the Constitution says and live by it.
If you want the simple take on this I suggest watching “The Daily Show” Dec. 7th it’s online, at Comedy Central’s website.

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