NEW EVESDROPPING LAW AND ITS RESTRICTION ON EMAILS

InvestigatorOn Tuesday, December 30, 2014, Governor Quinn signed the new eavesdropping bill into law restricting certain conversations from being lawfully recorded. The new law distinguishes from those conversations intended to be private and those intended to be public.   

For example, it would be illegal for one worker to secretly record a colleague complaining about a boss over the phone, but it would be legal to record that same conversation if it were taking place loudly on the street.  

The new law also makes it a crime to forward an email or other electronic communication, such as an email, that the sender intended to be private.  The exact language is as follows: 

            “…any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of  any nature transmitted in whole or part by a wire, radio, pager, computer,  electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, when the sending or  receiving party intends the electronic communication to be private under circumstances reasonably justifying the expectation.” 

It is unclear if the language covers text messages or other electronic communication.  Nevertheless, this portion of the new law has been highly criticized and may be challenged before a court of law. 

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