Indiana Senate Bill 373, which has not been adopted, has raised concerns. The amended bill’s language is not currently available.
The bill provided that it is a Class A misdemeanor for defamation, to directly or indirectly harm the business relationship between the agricultural or industrial operation and its customers, and for trespass. However, it is a defense if the person has a good faith belied that there is evidence of illegal activity and provides the recording to law enforcement or a regulatory agency within 48 hours after the person left the property or premises.
The original bill provided that persons could not take pictures or videos of the real property, structures located on the real property, or the agricultural operations or industrial operations being conducted on the real property without the consent of the owner or the representative of the owner.
The amended bill shifted its focus from unauthorized pictures and videos of the structure and operations to (1) trespassing and (2) those who gain employment by providing false information in order to gain access to inside information. The amended bill states a person is guilty of trespass if he/she intentionally crosses a fence, a wall, or other constructed barrier that reasonably implies entry is prohibited.
The concerns from animal rights groups, unions, and representatives for news media are concerned that the revisions could become a way for employers to intimidate whistleblowers.
The bill will be presented to the full House for consideration.