Concerning Secret Recordings of Public Officials Legality, Rhode Island Catches Up to Illinois

Rhode Island caught up with Illinois Monday when a Federal Judge ruled that the First Amendment allows individuals to video police officers and other public officials with getting their permission.

MassLive wrote that the cases in question “involved defendants who had not secretly recorded police but claimed that the Suffolk District Attorney’s office and the Boston Police Department were interpreting state law in such a way that was preventing them from doing so without the risk of legal repercussions.”

One plaintiff was Project Veritas, best known for undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees; the other involved two who took videos of police officers who were represented by the ACLU.

In Illinois, it was Paul Simon’s future wife Jeanne Hurley who sponsored the bill in the 1950’s to require two-party consent to tape recording.

That was considered a “good government” bill at the time.

But, according to a former State Rep. I met at the Springfield train station, Roland Libonati, Hurley was duped.

After a tape recording about currency exchange bribery of legislators was tossed over the transom of reporter Jack Mabley of the Chicago American.

In 2012, the 1957 law was held to be unconstitutional.

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