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Mass. Legislature Strikes Back: Upskirt Photos Now Officially a Misdemeanor 256

Posted by timothy
from the banned-in-boston dept.
Just a day after a Massachusetts court said that current state law didn't specifically address "upskirt" snapshots (and so left taking them legal in itself, however annoying or invasive), an alert Massachusetts legislature has crafted and passed a bill to fix the glitch, and gotten it signed by the governor as well. As reported by the BBC, "The bill states that anyone who 'photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils' a person's sexual or intimate parts without consent should face a misdemeanor charge. The crime becomes a felony - punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine - if the accused secretly takes indecent photographs of anyone under the age of 18." The New York Daily News points out this bill became a law without so much as a public hearing.
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Mass. Legislature Strikes Back: Upskirt Photos Now Officially a Misdemeanor

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  • TSA Beware (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @12:46PM (#46434723)

    Any airports or ports in Mass?

    If so TSA beware, imaging my junk without my express permission is now a felony in Massachusetts.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @12:58PM (#46434781) Journal

    In the US jurors can acquit for any reason and aren't required to say what it was. Usually they rule on findings of fact, but that is not a requirement as far as I know. There are a number of organizations proselytizing what they believe are the full "rights" of a jury, for instance, the fully informed jury association [fija.org].

    This is often derided by those who fear that racist jurors will acquit criminals whose victims are a discriminated against group and praised by those who fear that the the overwhelming body of existing law can be used against pretty much anyone - it's impossible t know the entirety of the law and so its impossible to avoid ever breaking it.

    At the moment my fear of tyranny outweighs my fear of racists, though. I don't know if that will always be the case or if that historically would have been a poor assessment generally, but I think we need to think long and hard about ameliorating the potential issues of wrongful acquittals in other ways before risking an increase of wrongful convictions.

  • by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Saturday March 08, 2014 @01:10PM (#46434837) Journal
    Welcome to modern politics. Politicians do whatever they want and don;t need to consult the public at all. And when motivated enough, these politicians can pass all sorts of legislation in a day. In the recent past Illinois lawmakers introduced a bill requiring teachers to teach until they are 67; passed the bill in both house and senate; had the bill signed by the governor. All of this in one single day. Teachers union, was shocked and has been fighting this ever since, but since it is "the law" they don;t have a lot to go on. Everyone else in Illinois has been on pins and needles knowing that the government can in a day vote your career into misery.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @02:38PM (#46435333)

    Why did such laws not originally exist? The question is essential, the answer very disturbing.

    Under the PRINCIPLE of English law, which is mostly the basis of Law in lands derived from England, like the USA, laws apply equally to citizens and 'agents' of the State, like police. The reason laws against covert photography were missing was because, until very recently, such laws would also apply to people working for the State, and governments did NOT want their own people limited by such laws.

    Things have changed. Since the 1980s, the sheeple have been subject to non-stop propaganda attacks that define a new "you and them" understanding, where the State is understood to be the MASTER of the sheeple, not its servant. When enough sheeple took it for granted that the State acted as if it were "above the Law of Man", those in power could exploit this new mindset to the max.

    Now, the vast majority of sheeple see no issue with a law that bans THEM from all kinds of acts that, if done by an employee of the State, will attract no penalty.

    So, your school can provide laptops to your children to take home, SPECIFICALLY for the covert purpose of video recording your children in their own bedrooms at all times, and when this program is revealed, the highest courts of the USA declare such acts completely legal. And not legal in the sense that someone had 'forgotten' to create a law describing such as a crime. NO- legal in the sense that the State, and those that the State employs, are above the Laws that control you, the sheeple.

    Look had broadly the new, UNCONSTITUTIONAL (because the new law involved no public consultation) law is defined. It is a classic 'catch all' that allows ANYONE engaged in public photography to be arrested on suspicion. YOU wanted a law punishing pervs who were obviously sticking a camera up a woman's skirt. What you got is a law that fires first, and asks questions later.

    Take a photo of a child (which is scarily defined as even a 17-year old) in a swimsuit in a public venue, and you've broken this law. You MIGHT win in court, but the act of taking such a photo is certainly grounds for arrest.

    Using a camera to take a photograph of a full dressed women without her consent is now also grounds for arrest. WHY? Because your INTENT may be infringing- you may have removed the IR filter (or be using a camera sensitive to IR), so that IR transparent clothing 'vanishes' on the recorded image, revealing the 'intimate parts' that make your act of photography a crime under this new law. Neither the woman nor the arresting officer can prove you are NOT doing this by looking at your camera. And unlike court, a police person is allowed to follow a "guilty until proven innocent" approach if they have any reasonable grounds to suspect guilt.

    Why would Massachusetts want such an over-reaching and catch-all version of this law? Do I REALLY have to ask? They stomp all over your rights, in the name of public decency, while codifying their ability to do the very thing this new law is supposed to prevent. Will Bill Gates NSA spy platform, the Xbox One, suddenly become illegal in children's bedrooms in this state? Hahahahahahaha. Most of you sheeple are so thick, you fall over yourselves to praise Gates for helping create a real-life '1984' world.

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