Senate Passes New Eavesdropping Law

(Springfield, IL) — Before they adjourned today, the Illinois Senate approved a rewrite of the state’s eavesdropping law, sending it to Governor Quinn for his signature. The older law, dating to 1961, had been struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court, which said it infringed on free-speech rights in an age when cellphone cameras are commonplace. The new law keeps the requirement that both parties must consent before a private conversation can be recorded, but it would allow the recording of all activities and speech in a public area, including police activities, unless there’s a reasonable expectation that those activities are private. The new law does not address the police use of body cameras.