Here’s a story I ran across that I couldn’t resist sharing. In the news, there’s an article from TechCrunch. The article forewarns you about using your BlackBerry in Illinois. Apparently there’s an act called “The Illinois Eavesdropping Act” which makes audio or video recordings in public or private illegal without the consent of both parties. Illinois is actually one of twelve states who have such laws. So what happened? Here’s the scoop…
Tiawanda Moore, is facing the possibility of spending 15 years in prison for breaking the eavesdropping act. She recorded filed a sexual harassment complaint which she alleges Internal Affairs investigators tried to get her to drop. She took out her BlackBerry and started recording which also got her arrested. Now recording a civilian in public or private without their consent is considered a felony that can lead up to a three year prison term the very first time and five years if repeated! It gets better, if you audio-record a conversation of police officers, state attorney, attorney general, etc during their duties is actually a class one felony which can be enforced with up to a fifteen year prison term.
There are exceptions in other states for civilians if they record police conversations in public, but apparently not Illinois. Even worse, there’s an exception in Illinois for the police to record civilians in public or private without their consent. What do you think about the results of recording in Illinois? Do you find the penalty harsh or hardly sensible? I suppose the moral of the story is if you venture to Illinois, be careful with your BlackBerry.