Fight for the Future


Illinois just passed a law that makes it more illegal for you to record the cops than for them to record you.

Posted 16:40 EST on December 10, 2014

Dear Fight for the Future member,

Illinois just passed a vague law that discourages people from recording their interactions with police by making it a felony to record cops and other government officials in certain circumstances.

The right to record our interactions with law enforcement and government officials is a basic freedom. It protects all of us from abuse. But the legislature of Illinois just hastily passed an amendment attached to a totally unrelated bill that will actually increase “penalties that people face if they record police or other officials in situations where they have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” [1]

The problem is that the bill’s language is so vague that it will leave Illinois residents wondering whether and when they have the right to record their interactions with police. [2] This will have a chilling effect, and if it becomes a trend it and poses a threat to our First Amendment rights. Worse, this bill grants new authorities to police and informants to secretly record conversations without a warrant, [3]

Sign the petition to the Governor of Illinois: veto the bill that makes it more illegal to record the cops than for them to record you.

People from across the political spectrum all agree on one thing: we want more transparency and accountability from our government. Anytime a state passes a law that limits our freedom, it’s important that we push back to prevent it from becoming a dangerous trend.

Please click here to sign the petition, and then forward this email to as many people as you can.

More than 10,000 people have taken action on this in just the first few hours of us learning about the bill. If everyone signs and shares this we’ll almost certainly strike a major victory for free speech and privacy.

Sincerely,
-Evan, Tiffiniy, and Holmes

Fight for the Future

P.S. There’s some confusing information going around about this bill. For example, read this, and this. Our position is that this bill is a net negative for freedom because it imposes stronger penalties when people record police than when they record a civilian, causing a chilling effect, and it gives police and informants new power to record civilians without a warrant. Read more here.

SOURCES:

[1] Kravets, David. Ars Technica. “Illinois – Again – Moves to Ban Recording the Police.” http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/illinois-again-moves-to-ban-recording-the-police/

[2] Halleck, Thomas. International Business Times. “Illinois Passes Bill That Makes it Illegal to Record Police.” http://www.ibtimes.com/illinois-passes-bill-makes-it-illegal-record-police-1744724

[3] ACLU of Illinois. “Eavesdropping bill passes in Illinois.” http://www.aclu-il.org/eavesdropping-bill-passes-in-illinois/


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