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Testimony in support of Illinois bill on audio recording of police officers

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  1. Freedom of Information

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has submitted testimony to the Illinois General Assembly in support of an amendment to the state eavesdropping law, which would create an exemption from criminal prosecution for the “[r]ecording of a peace officer who is performing a public duty in a public place and speaking at a volume audible to the unassisted human ear.” House Bill 3944 is an important step in reforming an overly broad law that criminalizes a critically important aspect of the newsgathering process and infringes on cherished First Amendment freedoms, the Reporters Committee argued. The Illinois Eavesdropping Act is the only law of its type in the country, because it does not require a reasonable expectation of privacy, thus making public conversations subject to the law.

Testimony in support of Illinois bill on audio recording of police officers