The Indiana Senate is debating legislation that would make it unlawful for a person to record agricultural or industrial operations “with intent to harass, defame, annoy or harm.” While supporters argue the law would help protect an agricultural or industrial operator’s property rights, opponents said its intention is to silence undercover investigations seeking to expose illegal or unethical practices.

While the Senate passed the bill on second reading Tuesday and was supposed to hear the bill on third reading Thursday, the bill’s author pulled the legislation back to second reading Thursday.

State Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, who opposes the bill, said the bill must pass the Senate on second reading today in order to meet the Senate’s deadline.

According to Senate Bill 373, in its current form, taking photographs or video recordings of an agricultural or industrial operation would be prosecuted as an infraction for a first offense and a misdemeanor, punishable in Indiana by up to a $10,000 fine, for a second offense.

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