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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Four States Propose Restrictions to 911 Call Recordings

In a troublesome shift away from transparency, Alabama, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida are proposing legislation to limit the media's access to 911 call recordings.

Alabama calls for all emergency recordings to be private and exempt from freedom of information laws unless a court order issues, although transcripts could be available.

Ohio would restrict 911 recordings, banning public access to recordings while allowing transcripts to be read on air. Ohio would levy monetary fines of $10,000 for violations by media outlets.

Wisconsin would keep all audio recordings confidential and would make transcripts available upon request. A proposed amendment would allow the media to inspect, but not copy or disseminate transcripts.

Florida would make audio recordings confidential unless obtained by court order, and would only release transcripts after 60 days.

For more information, click here.

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