Audio recordings

10th Circuit reverses dismissal of 'Dateline' defamation case

Bradleigh Chance | Libel | News | July 14, 2014
July 14, 2014

Last week the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that while NBCUniversal reporters did not violate anyone’s Fourth Amendment rights creating the 2008 Dateline segment titled “Tricks of the Trade,” a lower court will have to review the originally dismissed defamation claims made by an insurance broker featured in the piece.

Tyrone M. Clark and his company, Brokers’ Choice of America, initially sued NBC over video clips recorded with a hidden camera by Dateline crew members during an insurance brokers’ seminar in Colorado located on BCA property.

The reporters worked with Alabama law enforcement to gain access to the event since it was only open to licensed insurance agents, which Clark and BCA claimed to be a Fourth Amendment violation of the company’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down eavesdropping law

Cindy Gierhart | Privacy | News | March 21, 2014
March 21, 2014

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the state's eavesdropping law as unconstitutional.

Annabel Melongo spent 20 months in jail, according to the Chicago Tribune, for recording three telephone conversations with a supervisor in the Cook County Court Reporter's Office.

The Illinois eavesdropping statute makes it a crime to record any conversation, even in public, without the person's consent.

New Hampshire Supreme Court reverses blogger's felony conviction for recording phone conversations

Cindy Gierhart | Privacy | News | February 12, 2014
February 12, 2014

The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned a felony wiretapping conviction Tuesday of a blogger who recorded phone conversations with a law enforcement official and two school officials.

The blogger, Adam Mueller, operates the website, which says it aims to hold police accountable.

A New Hampshire statute makes it a felony for anyone to “willfully intercept” a communication without the consent of all parties to the communication. At trial, the jury was instructed to find Mueller guilty if he “purposefully” intercepted the communications.

Illinois Supreme Court hears case over woman's jailing for recording public official

Michael Rooney | Privacy | News | January 14, 2014
January 14, 2014

Today, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that again challenges the constitutionality of the state’s eavesdropping statute. The statute outlaws the creation of audio or visual recordings of people without the consent of all parties to the recording.

The case involves Annabel Melongo, who was charged with six counts under the statute stemming from recordings made of phone conversations between herself and the Cook County court reporter’s office in December 2009. A lower court dismissed the charges against Melongo, but not before she spent 20 months in jail because she could not post bail. The state is now appealing the ruling.

Filmmaker cannot obtain trial recording, Mass. high court rules

Lilly Chapa | Secret Courts | News | March 20, 2013
March 20, 2013

Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Monday that a documentary filmmaker cannot access an audio recording of a controversial rape trial because it is not an official judicial record of the trial.

Ill. judge declares state's eavesdropping law unconstitutional

Amanda Simmons | Newsgathering | News | July 30, 2012
July 30, 2012

An Illinois judge ruled last week that the state’s eavesdropping law – one of the broadest restrictions on audio recording in the nation – is unconstitutional.

Federal court finds Bloomberg's publication of copyrighted conference call recording to be fair use

Raymond Baldino | Content Regulation | News | May 22, 2012
May 22, 2012

A federal court last week rejected a copyright infringement lawsuit against Bloomberg L.P. for its unauthorized publication of a conference call between a corporation's senior executives and a group of securities analysts, finding that the business and financial news publisher was protected from liability by the fair use doctrine.

First Amendment prevents prosecution for recording police performance of public duties

Chris Healy | Newsgathering | News | May 8, 2012
May 8, 2012

The Illinois Eavesdropping Act, one of the broadest restrictions on audio recording nationwide, is likely unconstitutional and may not be enforced against the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois when it records conversations of police officers openly engaged in their public duties, a federal appellate court ruled today.

Police do not intend to enforce Illinois eavesdropping law during NATO summit

Rachel Bunn | Newsgathering | News | April 30, 2012
April 30, 2012

Journalists opposing the controversial Illinois eavesdropping statute expressed relief when a Chicago official announced that police do not plan to enforce the law when the city hosts the NATO summit in May. A state representative also introduced a bill last week to make it legal to audio record police officers in public.

Bill to rescind penalty for taping police officers fails, while state seeks to withdraw appeal in recording case

Chris Healy | Newsgathering | Feature | March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012

A bill in the Illinois House of Representatives that would have created an exemption from criminal liability under the state's broad eavesdropping law was defeated by a vote of 59-45. HB 3944 would have decriminalized the recording of police officers publicly engaged in their public duties.

"We always knew this would be a heavy lift, and I guess it was heavier than we thought," said state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the chief sponsor of the bill.