Can't tell if good news or not...

This could be incredibly excellent news, or nothing, depending on fine points of the law of which I am ignorant. It's a federal appeals court FWIW.
Court says state law banning recording of police officers in public is unconstitutional

  • +2 by Ron Oakes, Clark Wierda
  • 2 shares - Jeffrey Haas and Ray Crane
  • Marinna Martini - More encouraging than corporations are people.
  • Michael Brian Bentley - I think they'll try to finesse around this for a few months.
  • Michael Brian Bentley - Will this have any effect on the law on the books in Illinois?
  • John Ridley - That's my hope. If the federal courts say that banning recording police in public is unconstitutional, it should. They're trying to use a wiretapping law in most states and that may be a bit grey (they can argue if you try to conceal your recorder that it counts as concealed audio recording). This would seem to actually be a stronger decision against IL's specific law against recording police than against the generic wiretapping law..
  • Rodford Smith - There has been a lot of discussion about this and similar matters (people being arrested as "terrorists" for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.) in photography magazines and fora since shortly after 9/11/2001, when much of this started. The legal standard for decades (probably over a century) is that if it happens in a public place (such as a city street) there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, therefore it can be legally recorded.
  • John Ridley - Regardless, people still are in jail for recording police, and Illinois has a specific law in place making it illegal and people have been charged under it. And even if they can't actually convict, they can make people's lives very uncomfortable. We need a clear, sweeping, unequivocal declaration that it's not illegal so they can't keep claiming that it's illegal.
    To this day people still get harassed, detained, their equipment taken, their memory cards erased, for taking photos that are completely legal, but the people in authority claim they're not legal. What happens on the street often doesn't have anything to do with what's actually legal.