eavesdropping law

Jamey Dunn headshot
mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

You might think it goes without saying, but don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. If you took everything you saw on Facebook as truth, for instance, you might believe that by reposting a long legal disclaimer you could copyright the pictures and personal information you share on the social media platform and keep Facebook from stealing them to use for other purposes, such as marketing. Alas, your Facebook “friends” have steered you wrong. You already own content you post, but you also signed on to Facebook’s legal terms.

State Week logo
Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

The two-year session of the 98th General Assembly comes to a close.

flickr/John Liu

Illinois lawmakers have approved eavesdropping restrictions to replace those the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional last spring.

The Senate voted 46-4 Thursday to prohibit recording private conversations without the consent of everyone involved.  

It goes to Gov. Pat Quinn. A spokesman says Quinn has not made a decision on whether to sign it.  

Wikimedia Commons

  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.

Jamey Dunn headshot
mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Anytime something interesting happens in public these days, you can expect that a few bystanders might whip out their phones and take pictures. Some might even shoot a little video to later upload to YouTube or post on a Facebook page. 

In recent years, some Illinoisans have learned the hard way that recording a police officer on duty without permission carries a heavy penalty under the state’s eavesdropping law.