Massachusetts to ban upskirt photos


#1

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#2

What should be derided (and was by the court) is he lack of an applicable law in the first place. The decision of the court was simply that the law banning taking pictures of people who are nude (at a topless beach, for instance) was not intended to cover taking pictures of people who were fully clothed, even if the pictures were taken under their clothes.

That’s law folks; don’t blame the judges.


#3

This is the sort of thing where you kind of WANT a narrow law governing the specific problems spot… and there simply never was a law passed to do so, apparently.

But hey, a lot of law is only made AFTER someone does something wrong and the authorities realize it’s perfectly legal. Nothing particularly new here (other than - how did it go this long without anyone noticing!?)


#4

I think with older photographic equipment, it would be more obvious what a perv was attempting and it would have been more difficult to hold heavier equipment in that position. With new technology, smaller, lighter cameras and cameras in phones, it’s easier to pull off surreptitiously.


#5

“Every person, male or female, has a right to privacy beneath his or her own clothing,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement Wednesday. “If the statute as written doesn’t protect that privacy, then I’m urging the Legislature to act rapidly and adjust it so it does.”

So they’ll be addressing the pornoscanners at Logan next?


#6

C’mon…admit it. Those pornoscanners are just the final straw in the gauntlet of Logan’s notorious hassles. By the time I get to the scanners, I’m usually so addled by the previous half-hour of logistic idiocies that I hardly notice. If any TSA folk get their jollies looking at me, I couldn’t care less at the time.


#7

Following a much-derided court ruling that found upskirt photos legal, legislators in Massachusetts rushed through a bill to make absolutely clear to the state’s esteemed judiciary that it is not OK to shove a camera up a woman’s skirt in order to take photographs of her crotch.

That’s a bizarrely inaccurate summary of the issues here.

The person accused of upskirting didn’t shove a camera up anyone’s skirt. What he did was use a cellphone at his waist level to take photographs of things he would not have been able to see directly, such as their underwear.

The statute in Mass. specifically bans recording nude or partially nude individuals in private areas without their consent.

The judges were rightly worried that enforcing the existing law in this circumstance would potentially criminalize a wide range of public photography.

The new law nicely addresses all these issues, making it clear that what the miscreant in this case did was wrong and should be illegal, while avoiding unanticipated consequences of banning a wide variety of public photography.


#8

The Massachussets law doesn’t appear to criminalize photographic nudity ina public setting. So unless the topless beach is private, your example wouldn’t apply.

In the argumetnnts over this, the judges were specifically concerned about what happens if a photographer is taking pictures in a public area and happens to photograph a woman who is breast feeding an infant, for example.

Under the revised law, the main change is that if a person is clothed and has a reasonable expectation that intimate parts of themselves are concealed, it is a crime to secretly photograph them in such a way that it reveals said intimate parts without their consent.


#9

Uh…It’s … M a s s a c h u S e T T s.

I’m a native…and even I have to think about it sometimes.


#10

This is the cyclical nature of our branches of government. The legislature passes laws, the judicial reviews laws. If the laws don’t meet the needs of the people, the laws are updated/changed. Laws that violate the constitution of the state/country are struck down as invalid by the judiciary, but their rulings can pass back to the legislature in order to craft more appropriate laws.

I personally love, from a political perspective, when this occurs. There was no law protecting personal privacy in this manner, and the judicial branch said as much. So the legislature made such a law. This means there is now better privacy protection in Massachusetts – and, hopefully, that law will be passed in other states as well, and can contribute to other laws that work to protect personal privacy in otherwise public spaces.


#11

The summary seems like a somewhat snarky version of what you wrote so I think “bizarrely inaccurate” is bizarrely inaccurate. This is BoingBoing. You’re not going to get Boston Globe language here.

What you wrote also makes very little sense, though, since “waist level” photographs aren’t going to get underneath anyone’s skirt. Unless they’re like 7’ tall women or something.

To my knowledge, there are no public nude beaches in Massachusetts.


#12

The law just isn’t as perfect as software code that follows strict logic… oh wait… I think remember there being a joke about murdering people on federally owned property that is not under the jurisdiction of any particular state.


#13

I have no idea what you are trying to say here.


#14

If you track down the actual judgment (which neither BoingBoing or CNN bothered to link to, but can be found at http://www.socialaw.com/slip.htm?cid=22645&sid=120), it states that at least one of the women he was photographing was seated at the time and he was seated across from her.

So yes, he would have been holding the camera at waist level.


#15

In addition, if someone wearing an above-the-knee skirt or dress is standing on a bus or train near this guy while he’s sitting, it’s another way to take a photo from “waist level”.


#16

Maybe the photographer was a dwarf?

Anyway, I have to agree that this seems to be the system working exactly as intended. The Judge ruled on the law, said it didn’t cover this case. So the Legislature goes back and amends the law. Problem solved.

The only “bad” part is the original perp gets off scott free thanks to Double Jeopardy, but that’s a pretty minor problem IMHO given the nature of the crime.


#17

His name and mugshot have been broadcast around the world now as a pervert. Plus his legal costs are probably enormous.


#18

What if all I am doing is taking pictures of my shoes?


#19

That looks like someone’s optic camo system is malfunctioning.


#20

It is The Mirror Man of Los Angeles