Sunday, January 23, 2011

Public officials apparently enjoy greater privacy rights than private citizens

Via Radley Balko at The Agitator, more cases of people being charged for recording their interactions with police.  Here's the thing that stuck out for me:
Although law-enforcement officials can legally record civilians in private or public, audio-recording a law-enforcement officer, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general or judge in the performance of his or her duties is a Class 1 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The A.C.L.U. filed its lawsuit after several people throughout Illinois were charged in recent years with eavesdropping for making audio recordings of public conversations with the police. The A.C.L.U. argued that the act violates the First Amendment and hinders citizens from monitoring the public behavior of police officers and other officials.
So public officials conducting public business have a greater expectation of privacy than private citizens?

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