Friday, February 19, 2010

Legislative Alert: New Anti-Scanner Streaming Bill in Illinois General Assembly

This piece of legislation, if passed, is detrimental to that portion of the radio hobby that streams Public Safety audio streams on the Internet. As a result, other agencies and states that have reservations now about the hobby streaming Public Safety audio on the Internet will be able to point to this law and pass similar legislation. Illinois state scanner enthusiast should contact their state representatives and oppose this bill.

Illinois General Assembly HB5194
House Sponsors: Rep. Dan Brady

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the State Police Radio Act. Provides that a person receiving public safety voice or data communication transmitted via the facilities of the State's public safety radio system by wire or radio shall not, without the written authority of the originator of the communication, rebroadcast the communication via any means, including radio or Internet, or otherwise divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning thereof. Provides that this provision does not apply to the public safety radio communication transmitted by any system station for the use of the general public, including Amber Alerts and other communications specifically intended for rebroadcast to the public. Provides that radio access to the public safety radio system within the State may only be accomplished upon receipt of written authorization granted by the appropriately licensed authority. Provides that a violation of these provisions is a Class A misdemeanor. Effective immediately.