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Legal question: When is it okay to record a conversation (in IL)?

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Legal question: When is it okay to record a conversation (in IL)?

Old 02-07-08, 08:02 AM
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Legal question: When is it okay to record a conversation (in IL)?

Does anyone know the law for IL? I know some states you can't unless you notify them first, but I don't want to notify.
Old 02-07-08, 08:14 AM
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I'm not an expert in Illinois law, but every website I've seen lists Illinois as a state where all parties have to consent to recording.
Old 02-07-08, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee Harvey Oswald
Does anyone know the law for IL? I know some states you can't unless you notify them first, but I don't want to notify.
Hmm, Lee Harvey Oswald is worried about the legality of taping a conversation with someone...
Old 02-07-08, 10:21 AM
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http://www.rcfp.org/taping/

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-1, -2: An eavesdropping device cannot be used to record or overhear a conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation under criminal statutes. An eavesdropping device is anything used to hear or record a conversation, whether the conversation is in person or conducted by any means other than face-to-face conversation, such as a telephone conversation.

In addition, it is criminally punishable to disclose information one knows or should know was obtained through an eavesdropping device. Offenses of the eavesdropping law are punishable as felonies, with first offenses categorized as lesser felonies than subsequent offenses. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-4. Civil liability for actual and punitive damages is authorized as well. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-6.

Standard radio scanners are not eavesdropping devices, according to a 1990 decision from an intermediate appellate court. Illinois v. Wilson, 554 N.E.2d 545 (Ill. App. Ct. 1990). A camera is not an eavesdropping device. Cassidy v. ABC, 377 N.E. 2d 126 (Ill. App. Ct. 1978).

It is also illegal for any person to "videotape, photograph, or film another person without that person's consent in a restroom, tanning bed, or tanning salon, locker room, changing room or hotel bedroom." 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/26-4(a).
Old 02-07-08, 02:42 PM
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Not so fast.

The Illinois Supreme Court said of the pre '94 law that the Illinois eavesdropping law protected privacy but that you shouldn't expect to keep what you say private, thus recording yourself was legal (pre '94).

In '94 an amendment was made which stated that basically you couldnít record yourself anymore.

In '00 another amendment was made which added the definition of "electronic communication", which includes "sounds" transmitted by "wires" which would appear to cover telephones. Under this '00 amendment, "both the sending and receiving parties" must intend the conversation to be private for the eavesdropping law to apply.

Hereís the í00 amendment:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publ...s/91-0657.html

So, can you legally record a conversation between yourself and somebody else, when talking to them in person? No. Can you legally record a telephone conversation between yourself and somebody else if the conversation is not meant to be private? Maybe.

Something Iíve wondered is if there is a recording that says "this conversation may be recorded for quality assurance", does that give the other personís consent for you to record the conversation?
Old 02-07-08, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Heat
Something Iíve wondered is if there is a recording that says "this conversation may be recorded for quality assurance", does that give the other personís consent for you to record the conversation?
If I remember anything from my days in the TV newsroom (where this issue came up) that does imply consent. After all, you could always hang up the phone.

And since the individual state laws must be followed during state to state calls (and the federal law trumps all) I imagine that's how they cover their bases.

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