In Illinois, an eavesdropping device cannot be used to record or overhear a conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-1, -2. An eavesdropping device is defined as anything used to hear or record a conversation, even if the conversation is conducted in person.
In addition, it is illegal to disclose information one knows or should have known was obtained with an eavesdropping device. Violations of the eavesdropping law are punishable as felonies, with first offenses categorized as lesser felonies than subsequent offenses. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-4. Civil liability for actual and punitive damages is authorized as well. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-6. However, not disclosing the contents of the illegally obtained communication is an affirmative defense to the charge.
The eavesdropping provisions do not prohibit private citizens from electronically recording the proceedings of any meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act.