Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

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

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the banned-in-boston dept.

Privacy 256

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.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

no surprise (1, Offtopic)

daniel23 (605413) | about 8 months ago | (#46434563)

Thou shalt not make thee any graven image.

Re:no surprise (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 8 months ago | (#46434571)

What does forming idols for worship have to do with this?

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434903)

Michael Robertson made a graven image of the Goddess Vageejay. God doesn't like that, and neither does the Massachusetts legislature.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435577)

>anyone who 'photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils' a person's sexual or intimate parts without consent should face a misdemeanor charge
Wouldn't that make the TSA terahertz "naked scanners" effectively illegal to use?

Re:no surprise (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434589)

So if I'm recording my girlfriend at the beach and some topless 5 year old girl wanders through the frame or happens to be in the background and her mom gets a bug up her ass about it... I'm charged with a felony? No thanks. If you don't want to chance it ending up on film, don't make it visible in public.

Re:no surprise (5, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46434611)

I got four letters for you:J-U-R-Y. A panel of reasonable people will be able to interpret the meaning of the upskirt law, and be able to differentiate between pervs on the subway and accidental photo bombs the beach. That's the whole point of juries and why they are such an important part of the justice system. No need to be a slippery-slope absolutist.

Re:no surprise (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 8 months ago | (#46434633)

When it comes to cases of moral, juries are worse than worthless. No one will stand up defending the rights of a potential sexual predator, even if probably innocent. Whether there's actual guilt or not, the jurors are under a tremendous social pressure to not appear to defend child pornography.

I am fairly certain that lawyers strongly recommend that defendants should do pretty much anything to avoid a jury trial, even if innocent. Because they will be found guilty.

Re:no surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435077)

Dear arth1 a.k.a. sexual predator:
There is no such thing as an innocent sexual predator. The two terms are mutually exclusive. Also, claiming that people should defend a known sexual predator likely places you in said category.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435305)

I don't see anywhere in your comment where you stated that you're super-mega-ultra anti-child pornography (like I am), so you must look at child porn! Thought we wouldn't find out, did you?

Re:no surprise (1, Troll)

sconeu (64226) | about 8 months ago | (#46435103)

Believe it or not, juries sometimes actually DO the right thing, even when sexual predators are involved.

WARNING: Anecdotal evidence follows:

About 15 years ago, I was the jury foreman on a particularly disgusting case... the guy was accused of doing his daughters. We were only able to convict him of one count: "Contributing to the delinquency", because we all agreed that he showed his daughters porn.

We hung on 4 other charges, oddly enough with 4 different splits. On one of the charges, I was one of those voting to acquit.

Re:no surprise (2)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46435311)

because we all agreed that he showed his daughters porn.

So?

Re:no surprise (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 8 months ago | (#46435483)

Please do NOT come out of your parent's basement.

Re:no surprise (4, Informative)

JBMcB (73720) | about 8 months ago | (#46434637)

Sure, it'll just cost you $10,000 for a lawyer.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435417)

And having your name associated with odious sexual crime, and losing your job, losing your friends, and maybe your family wont talk to you any more...

Re:no surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434681)

Yes that is the reason for a jury. But I am highly skeptical that the prosecution would ever let such people on the jury to begin with.

No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434703)

In the US, jurors interpret the law? I thought they only decided if the law was broken.

Re:No surprise (5, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | about 8 months ago | (#46434781)

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.

Re:No surprise (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about 8 months ago | (#46435349)

In the US jurors can acquit for any reason and aren't required to say what it was.

Yes, but I hear if you utter the words "jury nullification" during selection, you won't make it into the jury. Might actually be a good strategy if you want out.
Apparently you might even be accused of jury tampering for spreading the word http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02... [nytimes.com]

Re:No surprise (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 8 months ago | (#46435499)

Racists can also acquit criminals who are members of their own racial group. See OJ Simpson for example.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435591)

As a white guy, if I were on that jury I would have voted to acquit because there was all kinds of reasonable doubt about that case.

Re:No surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434807)

In the US, the jury's judgement is unimpeachable (though if it could be argued that the jury was tainted somehow or violated their rules of conduct, a mistrial can be declared and a retrial could happen). Any juror can show up and choose not to convict in spite of the evidence - a juror does not have to explain himself to anyone.

Judges and prosecutors will never tell a jury this and judges will hold any defense attorney in contempt for trying to do so. The government absolutely detests it, to the point of arresting and trying a man who distributed information on the concept of nullification outside of a federal courthouse: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/nyregion/indictment-against-julian-heicklen-jury-nullification-advocate-is-dismissed.html

But a juror will never get in trouble for using it.

Read this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434739)

You Commit Three Felonies a Day [wsj.com] .

If I look closely at you and your life, I will find something to incriminate you.

I have NO doubt what-so-ever.

So, about this being a "slippery-slope absolutist"?

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434767)

I agree with you that this is what a jury SHOULD do but in practice, this does not happen.

Judges and prosecutors always advocate for strict interpretations of the law when giving jury instructions and try really hard to weed our jurors who would apply their own moral lens to the facts of a case (prospective jurors are almost always questioned about how they would formulate a judgement, ones that indicate they would refuse to convict in spite of evidence suggestion a technical violation of the law are nearly always tossed from the pool). While it is not illegal to practice jury nullification, defense attorneys are barred in virtually every courtroom from informing jurors that they have this right. Jurors might also feel pressured not to use their right of nullification because they fear retribution from the judge or fellow jurors.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434777)

No. They won't. Juries are often given very details, *and conflicting*, directions from judges about what exactly the law is and how to interpret it. This includes immediately disqualifying any juror who mentions that they know about "jury nullification". The instructions are often very different depending on the opinions of the judge and their clerks who prepare the briefs that the judge relies on for relevant guidelines.

So juries can be, and often are, instructed quite badly and take the judge's instructions very seriously. Not to do so is to risk contempt of court charges.

Re:no surprise (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46434805)

If only you could benefit from that before you spend your life savings on a lawyer (non-refundable), get fired, and have your name dragged through the media.

That and if judges would stop trying to weed out jurors that believe in nullification.

At one time, prosecutors usually did a decent job of not prosecuting the obviously innocent (or perhaps we just didn't hear of their misconduct as much), but these days they seem to have little care for guilt or innocence as long as they get their conviction.

Re:no surprise (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 8 months ago | (#46434811)

Except the potential of 2-5 years will make you take a plea deal 100% of the time, unless you are dumb/crazy

Re:no surprise (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46435091)

Are people who stick up for their principles so rare these days that they're labeled "dumb" or "crazy"?

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435221)

Are people who stick up for their principles so rare these days that they're labeled "dumb" or "crazy"?

They tend to be labeled "inmates". The few encountered in the wild are put on watchlists and their breeding and migration habits are monitored to gain a better understanding of them and prevent plagues of them stuffing ballot boxes. The principled people watching societies use techniques like arrests, lobbying and gerrymandering to keep those specimens from causing large-scale damage to our economy.

Re:no surprise (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46434833)

You say that in a context of police and prosecutors who deliberately abuse laws, pointing to words and technical violations, so they can pad their tough guy credentials?

Re:no surprise (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 8 months ago | (#46435287)

It takes more than four letters to answer you, but I wouldn't want my life to be in the hands of the juries on some of those day care sex abuse cases. And I wouldn't want to spend my life savings on legal fees. Would you?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:no surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435351)

A panel of reasonable people will be able to interpret the meaning of the upskirt law

No, a panel of reasonable people will be told by the judge "this is what the law means, and you are to judge the facts only". Not many will understand that they're perfectly within their rights to acquit if they believe the law as written is wrong, or that the judge's interpretation is faulty. Others will come with the assumption that "he's in court, so he must be guilty of SOMETHING!" and vote for conviction based on that flawed premise.

NEVER assume that the jury will fix a bad law. Don't let it become law in the first place.

Re:no surprise (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#46434621)

Not at all what the law covers. No clandestine photographing being done. What a lame extreme to promote.

Re:no surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434705)

Law doesn't say it has to be hidden or clandestine. Even if it did, it is possible to "secretly" film something right out in the open: "He was using the pretext of filming the woman in order to capture video of my little girl frolicking innocently in the water in the background!"

As to those mentioning juries: outside jury nullification (which NEVER HAPPENS) the jury exists only to determine guilt based on the law. The judge will tell the jury: "You are here to examine the evidence and determine if the defendant has broken the law. The law states that nobody may photograph or videotape a person's intimate parts without consent." And in the scenario outlined above the prosecutor would have no trouble proving that using the video itself.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434763)

Correction: it does say "intent to hide such activity" but like I already pointed out, that's qualified in the scenario already.

Re:no surprise (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434735)

Here, you should RTFL:

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter272/Section105

Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

I really hope that "21/2 years" is a typo on the Mass. legislature's website, and not the actual text of the law.

In the age of digital cameras .... (0)

King_TJ (85913) | about 8 months ago | (#46434759)

How would this even be an issue? When you shoot video, do you irresponsibly just upload it to the Internet for public viewing, immediately, without so much as previewing what you filmed first?

I've always assumed that 80% of the work of recording video is the editing you do AFTER you're captured the initial footage!

Re:In the age of digital cameras .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434901)

What exactly does editing or uploading have to do with it?

Re:In the age of digital cameras .... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 8 months ago | (#46435547)

How would this even be an issue? When you shoot video, do you irresponsibly just upload it to the Internet for public viewing, immediately, without so much as previewing what you filmed first?

I've always assumed that 80% of the work of recording video is the editing you do AFTER you're captured the initial footage!

You haven't watched You Tube much, have you?

Re:no surprise (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 8 months ago | (#46434917)

You must be a "rules lawyer" type of RPG player, the kind that ruins the whole game for everyone quibbling with the DM throughout the entire campaign over the wording of the rules, just so you can get your way.

There is the letter of the law, then there is the spirit of the law. In a properly governed society, the latter is the norm, and in your fictional-but-plausible scenario, the cop who you ended up talking to would realize that it was accidental and innocent, and nothing more would come of it.

So far as this story goes? Why should anyone have a problem with it, except for the mere procedural aspect of how it came about? Nobody should be all-for people being able to violate someone's privacy by covertly photographing their private parts, in public or no, and for that matter a well-adjusted person shouldn't want to do such things in the first place, in my opinion, and I don't think I'm alone in that, either.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435621)

There is the letter of the law, then there is the spirit of the law. In a properly governed society, the latter is the norm, and in your fictional-but-plausible scenario, the cop who you ended up talking to would realize that it was accidental and innocent, and nothing more would come of it.

Just like the guy who takes a leak outside and gets convicted and labeled as a sex offender? You mean like that?

Re:no surprise (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#46435119)

So if I'm recording my girlfriend at the beach and some topless 5 year old girl wanders through the frame or happens to be in the background and her mom gets a bug up her ass about it... I'm charged with a felony? No thanks. If you don't want to chance it ending up on film, don't make it visible in public.

I don't think I saw it in the linked article, but I believe the law specifies flming genitals. Which I don't believe would include breasts, prepubescent or otherwise.

I do wonder how long it will take for a parent to get charged for taking bath tub photos of their iinfant.

Lastly, being that this is /., I would suggest you stick to taking pictures of your imaginary girlfriend in the comfort of your basement. After all that topless girls mother can't see her.

Re:no surprise (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#46435571)

It's already a federal felony, and this law doesn't change this at all. At most, this law, as it says in the summary, is a misdemeanor, not a felony.

Re:no surprise (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 8 months ago | (#46435623)

How about you look at the actual law [malegislature.gov] ;

Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, the sexual or other intimate parts of a person under or around the person’s clothing to view or attempt to view the person’s sexual or other intimate parts when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s sexual or other intimate parts would not be visible to the public and without the person’s knowledge and consent,

Your scenario does not fit on 3 points:

with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity

Unless you hide your camera, you are in the clear.

under or around the person’s clothing

A bare chest has no clothing for the photograph to be under or around.

a reasonable person would believe that the person’s sexual or other intimate parts would not be visible to the public

A bare chest is obviously visible to the public

Re:no surprise (2)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 8 months ago | (#46434829)

OK, if she stands still long enough for someone to carve or sculpt a likeness then I gotta think she's kinda into it...
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/graven [reference.com]

Well, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434573)

Fuckin' naughty photons.

a person's sexual or intimate parts

Sounds subjective, as usual. Great.

Re:Well, yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434671)

Agreed. Are lips considered "sexual parts"? Are ears? Remember, a woman's body is an entire sexual playground.

Re:Well, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435013)

Bodies in general are, AC. No need to specify.

Re:Well, yeah (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 8 months ago | (#46435563)

Agreed. Are lips considered "sexual parts"? Are ears? Remember, a woman's body is an entire sexual playground.

Such definitions are typically covered in statute some place or another. Unfortunately you have to read the whole bill and associated references to figure it out. I'm certainly not going to do that for you, but you are welcome to amuse yourself.

Re:Well, yeah (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 8 months ago | (#46435113)

If I take a picture, and a woman's bikini covered boobs happen to be in it, am I guilty?

Re:Well, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435467)

That depend. Are you a man? If you are a man you are guilty.

Age difference (2)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 8 months ago | (#46434575)

Age difference should matter when you're talking about people under 18. A sixteen-year-old who does this to another 16-year-old should be guilty of no more than a misdemeanor if an adult would be guilty of no more than a misdemeanor for the same behavior with another adult.

Re:Age difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434615)

That is true. I was thinking that this issue was resolved, but perhaps this was just a quick hack and the engineers should spend more time on it to provide a definitive and more appropriate code. After all, the case you mentioned is relevant.

And yes, you can probably treat law as a piece of software/code. If things don't work as intended (a law has a loophole or doesn't cover something you wanted to cover) you consider it a bug you want to fix. Then you work towards fixing the bug in the best way possible within an acceptable time.

Re:Age difference (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 8 months ago | (#46434951)

Normally I'd agree, except this specifies non-consensual, and there's a societal desire to not produce child porn for the consumption of anyone, child, teen, or adult.

A 16-year old agreeing to such is apparently legal per this law.

Similarly, if it were permissible for children to photograph any age, then adults would simply coerce children to do the dirty work.

Re:Age difference (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 8 months ago | (#46435099)

Similarly, if it were permissible for children to photograph any age, then adults would simply coerce children to do the dirty work.

So we end up in a situation where worthless pieces of trash (most people) kneejerk and ban everything to 'protect' crotch fruit. How mundane.

wow (3, Funny)

Yew2 (1560829) | about 8 months ago | (#46434581)

if only developers fixed glitches this fast.....or any other governments for that matter

Re:wow (1)

kylemonger (686302) | about 8 months ago | (#46434765)

When we get bug reports this good, we'll fix the bug this fast.

No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46434591)

Interesting.

Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (0)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | about 8 months ago | (#46434657)

The government you vested with special authority by your consent (either by voting or not leaving) gets to do things you can't. Imagine that.

Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46434741)

What if I voted for a government different from the one that got in?

Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (0)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | about 8 months ago | (#46435347)

Then if its bad enough, you leave. Otherwise you grumble under your breath (or better yet, cogently and out loud) and wait for the next election cycle.

Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434693)

Oh no, LEO's can be as pervy as ever as can clothing store workers, apparently.

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter272/Section105

(d) This section shall not apply to a merchant that electronically surveils a customer changing room, provided that signage warning customers of the merchant’s surveillance activity is conspicuously posted at all entrances and in the interior of any changing room electronically surveilled.

(e) This section shall not apply to a law enforcement officer acting within the scope of the officer’s authority under applicable law, or by an order or warrant issued by a court.

Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46434825)

Ah.... thanks. I didn't see the full text of the bill anywhere and was only going off of the summary mentioned in the article (and duplicated in the summary, above)

Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (1)

fulldecent (598482) | about 8 months ago | (#46434823)

"(e) This section shall not apply to a law enforcement officer acting within the scope of the officer’s authority under applicable law, or by an order or warrant issued by a court."

Has this been a large problem? (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 8 months ago | (#46434645)

Despite the prior news story about a guy getting off for upskirt photos, this law seems like a solution looking for a problem. Has upskirt photography been such a large problem in Massachusetts that a law was required?

I would have thought basic social pressures and shaming (lets admit - people doing this *are* particularly creepy) would do a better job at limiting the number of offenders, and the rest would do it anyways.

With a law on the books, particularly one with the possibility for felony charges, I wonder how many times we are going to read about misapplication of the law. Do you technically run afoul of the law anytime you take a photo where a woman in a skirt is elevated from your current location, such as a place with an elevated walkway? Do you risk arrest for taking a picture in a location with an escalator or glass-walled elevator like many shopping malls? even if you are close to neither one?

Re:Has this been a large problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434707)

Phrasing.

Re:Has this been a large problem? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434775)

In the past, the solution to this was simple. People were selected out of this behavior quite simply - if seen doing it other people would beat them up. Now though it is illegal to do that. So you get these creepers who are emboldened by the fact that nobody is going to slug them - and boom, you need a new law. Honestly a couple of right hooks are what these folks need and they won't do it again.

Re:Has this been a large problem? (3, Insightful)

letherial (1302031) | about 8 months ago | (#46434981)

i could think of quite a bit of problems that a 'couple of right hooks' would solve

Now that i think about it, whats the point of any law anyways? it should all be social justice, mob rule thats what i say, fuck the goverment. People in general should be allowed to just decide at any given moment what is a fair punishment and if somone is guilty or not, facts, evidence, fair trail...all that is just pointless when anyone can just look at a moment in a situation and just know what to do. couple of right hooks, maybe blow his brains out, or burn him...all these things can just be decided by whoever is around at the moment of emotional impulse

Ya...i totally like your idea

Re:Has this been a large problem? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 8 months ago | (#46434799)

It's a progressive state, so more government regulation is always better.

Re:Has this been a large problem? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46434841)

Politicians leap into action!

Remember when that 11 year old girl crashed a plane on takeoff because her idiot dad had her take off in a storm? Congress wasted no time!

Re:Has this been a large problem? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 8 months ago | (#46435331)

Like Marilyn Monroe walking over a subway grate.

Pervs click here http://ibnlive.in.com/news/mar... [in.com]

this is what the government is for (2)

superwiz (655733) | about 8 months ago | (#46434679)

With all the talk of "gridlock", it's there so that law is not used to enforce ideas that are not clearly shared by the majority of the population. When something clearly needs to be made into law, there is no gridlock. This thing took 2 days to go from "oh, shit I can't believe it's legal" to "there is a law to stop this now."

Re:this is what the government is for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434793)

We don't have grid lock in the Massachusetts state house because Republicans are a very small minority and can not block legislation.

Re:this is what the government is for (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46434817)

Hence you are fucked.

Re:this is what the government is for (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 8 months ago | (#46434821)

No this is what the "skort" is for, which AFAIK was not invented by the Democratic Party

Re:this is what the government is for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434871)

Not at all. It only happens in those very rare cases where business interests don't come into play, and even then mostly only for moral issues where we could probably stand to think things over for a couple of days at least, before we hastily scrawl down something that will cause more problems than they solve.

TSA Beware (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434723)

Any airports or ports in Mass?

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

You know this is a bad law (3, Insightful)

Snotnose (212196) | about 8 months ago | (#46434743)

Considering it took less than 24 hours to make this law you know it's a heaping pile of garbage. It takes time to craft a good law, more than 24 hours.

Not sure I agree with that .... (2)

King_TJ (85913) | about 8 months ago | (#46434783)

If a law is made this quickly, it could ALSO mean it just seems like such a common sense thing to the people involved, there's really nothing to argue about.

Personally, I think I'd rather have legislation made this way (flawed though it may be) than people passing multiple hundred page long bills that NOBODY could read through and fully understand before they're voted on.

Simple, quickly passed legislation can also be easily understood by juries and amended, as needed. The massive stuff with hundreds of hidden side-effects just catches people by surprise, time and time again, for decades to come.

Re:Not sure I agree with that .... (2)

nbauman (624611) | about 8 months ago | (#46435535)

It could but it usually doesn't.

What you see is a lot of judges writing, "This law is clearly unfair and was not intended to apply in this situation, but much as I hate to, I'm forced to follow the law, and sentence you to ten years in jail."

A law making it illegal to photograph the "intimate parts" of women and children in public. What could go wrong? http://www.shutterstock.com/pi... [shutterstock.com]

Actually, in Massachusetts and a few other states, there were laws requiring photo processors to turn photos over to the police if they showed children in a state of undress that was defined very broadly.

There were many cases of parents, including professional photographers, who were turned in by their developing labs because they had taken nude photos of their children. One case involved a family camping trip in the woods.

Sometimes a professional photographer would take hundreds of candid photos of her children, and the prosecutors would take one photo, out of context, which showed a toddler with her legs open, and prosecute them for it.

And no, the prosecutors weren't reasonable. They insisted on plea bargains which would have made the parent a sexual predator. It can easily cost you $30,000 to hire a defense lawyer. People are forced to sell their homes.

So no, it's stupid to pass a law overnight without thinking it out first.

It's stupid to do anything without thinking. That's sort of the definition of stupid.

Re:You know this is a bad law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435067)

Not really, similar laws were passed in New York and Florida, many moons ago, and are public record.

There are things you can use Florida as a bad example for, but not to my knowledge, this particular law. Even if so, it's not hard to learn from them.

Re:You know this is a bad law (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 8 months ago | (#46435339)

Yes brilliant. The prosecution was thrown out by the courts because the law was badly written, so they pass another law without hearings, and without giving lawyers a chance to look over it and figure out how to get it right this time.

Such clear wording! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#46434779)

"the sexual or other intimate parts"

Re:Such clear wording! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434899)

So do not take a picture of your girl friend in a bikini! That is how clear it is.

Re:Such clear wording! (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 8 months ago | (#46434911)

Interestingly, leaves the determination of legality up to the subject, rather than the overt act: wear panties, no crime; go bare, gotcha'!

indecent photographs (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 months ago | (#46434803)

i hope they defined indecent or they are still in the same boat

Definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434827)

What does secretly mean? Is it a hidden camera or a camera that just didn't get noticed? How is it legal for a store owner to video tape the changing rooms? And what form does consent constitute, verbal, written, a smile? WTF, seems like a-lot of huge gaps and issues are in this can of worms!

Without a public hearing? (2, Interesting)

flogger (524072) | about 8 months ago | (#46434837)

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.

Re:Without a public hearing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434931)

The teachers are going to have to work until 67, just like the rest of us? No wonder their union is upset.

Re:Without a public hearing? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 8 months ago | (#46435429)

Welcome to modern politics. Politicians do whatever they want and don;t need to consult the public at all.

Meh, I'm not sure that really applies in this case. The law that was passed [malegislature.gov] is basically a patch. And, like so many laws, I mean that quite literally: it's a list of insertions and deletions into the existing legal code.

Basically the Supreme Judicial Court said that a certain activity that was clearly intended to fall under the law didn't, because of the way the law was written. So the legislature fixed the wording of the law.

All the public debate had already happened, this was just a "bug fix," so to speak.

So while I'm not going to claim that there are definite issues of legislatures ignoring their constituents and sneaking laws through as rapidly as possible to avoid public debate on them (hi, Obamacare!), this really isn't a case of that.

"videotapes a person's intimate parts" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434915)

This is great news for people with "wardrobe malfunction" while on camera. Not only do they get media attention, they can also sue the studios for it.

CBS had a better headlinne (3, Funny)

tomhath (637240) | about 8 months ago | (#46434967)

CBS News had a better headline [cbsnews.com]

Massachusetts lawmakers crack down on "upskirt" photos

That's Fark quality.

They must have, right? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46434973)

"Before I vote on this here law," drawled the Boston polit...sorry hold on.

"Before I vote on this heah law," Kennedied the Boston politician, "I'm goin-guh to need to see some of these so-called 'up her skirt' photo-garaffs to make shua they are a vile as suggested. Good. Ok thank you. I will be busy studying them at home. Hold my calls."

moCd down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46434991)

website Third, You

Always on devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435071)

So much for them...

person's sexual or intimate parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435095)

I think a persons face is the most "sexual or intimate part"s

Harassment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435125)

It may or may not be "sex harassment", but it's clearly a form of harassment in my view.

dumb-o-crats (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46435131)

Politicians, especially Democrats, love to stir the pot and make new laws, hoping to paint themselves as effective. Especially laws to protect "the weak" -- women and children. Oh pluck those heartstrings, we cannot let panty pics degrade our civilization!

The 'State', of course, is excluded. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:The 'State', of course, is excluded. (1, Troll)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 8 months ago | (#46435597)

I think you should spend more time working on your own website [timecube.com]

What about upskirt selfies? (1)

X10 (186866) | about 8 months ago | (#46435627)

I know, most of you can't do that, but would that be a misdemeanor?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?