In what could be a huge victory for transparency, charges against an Illinois man for recording police officers during an arrest have been dismissed by the judge. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reports:
An Illinois judge ruled the state’s eavesdropping law unconstitutional as applied to a man who faced up to to 75 years in prison for secretly recording his encounters with police officers and a judge.
“A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties,” the judge wrote in his decision dismissing the five counts of eavesdropping charges against defendant Michael Allison.
“Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information,” he wrote.