Here in Illinois it is currently illegal for citizens to audio tape record public officials while they are doing their public duty, even in public. “Illinois’ eavesdropping ban was extended in 1994 to include open and obvious audio recording, even if it takes place on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists and in a volume audible to the “unassisted human ear.” ‘ Chicago Tribune When I first heard of this law, I was at first shocked and then my shock turned to anger. The police can make recordings of citizens out in public while they are in the midst of a traffic stop or even when one is exercising their First Amendment rights on the streets of Chicago. But, private citizens are not allowed to record those same police officers when they abuse the public or take liberties with constitutional guarantees.
The good news is that the ACLU here in Illinois is fighting this theft of our civil rights and the case is currently pending in the 7th Circuit. ” The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois today asked a federal appellate court to block future prosecutions of the ACLU and its staff members for recording police officers performing their public duties in a public space as a violation of the First Amendment. The oral argument on Tuesday morning is the latest action in an ACLU lawsuit filed in federal court in August of 2010. The ACLU of Illinois is defending its program monitoring police conduct and practices on the streets of Chicago.” ACLU