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Public recordings are no longer criminal and businesses such as telemarketers and insurance companies are no longer implicated by notifying callers that their call may be recorded. On March 20, 2014, the Supreme Court of Illinois overturned one of the strictest eavesdropping laws in the country, specifically 720 ILCS 5/14-2 (West 2008) in State v. Clark, 2014-IL-115776 and State v. Melongo, 2014-IL-114852. The Eavesdropping Statute prohibited individuals from recording conversations whether public or private unless both parties consented to the recording. The Clark Court held, “The purpose of the statute to protect private conversations is thus served. However, the statute does not stop there. It criminalizes a whole range of conduct involving the audio recording of conversations that cannot be deemed in any way private. For example, the statute prohibits recording (1) a loud argument on the street; (2) a political debate in a park; (3) the public interactions of police officers with citizens (if done by a member of the general public); and (4) any other conversation loud enough to be overheard by others whether in a private or public setting. None of these examples implicate privacy interests, yet the statute makes it a felony to audio record each one. Although the statute does contain several exemptions from the general prohibition (720 ILCS 5/14-3 (West 2010)), none of the examples above would come within any of those exemptions.” The Melongo Court agreed and held, “the recording provision of the eavesdropping statute (720 ILCS 5/14-2(a)(1) (West 2008)), burdens substantiall more speech than is necessary to serve a legitimate state interest in protecting conversational privacy.”

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