Tag Archives: People v. Clark

Illinois Eavesdropping Law Struck Down—Consent to Record Still Suggested

By Sean G Rohan on May 08, 2014 | Posted in Blog

A voice recording rocked the news when Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, received a lifetime ban from the NBA after racist comments he made in a recording became public. Sterling made the comments in a private telephone call with his alleged mistress that she recorded.

Illinois residents should take note that no Illinois law prohibits a person from recording another’s voice without that person’s consent. Until March 20, 2014, making an audio recording of a conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation was a crime in Illinois—but not anymore.

Eavesdropping

When it was in force, the Illinois eavesdropping law made it a crime to knowingly and intentionally use an “eavesdropping device” to record any part of a conversation unless the person making the recording obtained the consent of all parties to the conversation. The law defined a “conversation” as any oral communication between two people regardless of whether one person intended for the dialogue to be private. This meant that the statute affected “a general ban on audio recordings of any oral communication whatsoever, absent consent from all parties, except in limited circumstances that mostly apply to law enforcement authorities.”

Illinois Eavesdropping Law Struck Down by Supreme Court

Two Illinois Supreme Court cases decided on March 20, 2014, struck down the eavesdropping law as vague and overly broad.

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