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View Full Version : Illicit cameraphone clicks could mean jail



SnakebyteXX
12-10-2004, 07:00 AM
By Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press

WASHINGTON Camera phones may make great Christmas gifts, but people better not use them for peeping-Tom photos on federal property.

In one of its last moves of the year, Congress passed a bill that would levy heavy fines and prison time for anyone who sneaks photos or videos of people in various stages of undress, a problem lawmakers and activists called the new frontier of stalking.

While camera phone voyeurism probably won't be high on the list of federal crimes the FBI and other federal agencies pursue, "at least in theory there is now federal protection available so people can't unknowingly have their private parts photographed, downloaded and transmitted around the world," said Hanan B. Kolko, a New York civil liberties lawyer.

The bill, which President Bush is expected to sign, would make it a crime to videotape or photograph the naked or underwear-covered private parts of a person without consent when the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Conviction could lead to a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

The measure got voice vote approval in both chambers of Congress the House on Sept. 21 and the Senate on Tuesday.

The legislation would apply only in federal jurisdictions, such as federal buildings, national parks or military bases, but it carves out exceptions for law enforcement, intelligence and prison work.

The use of "nanny cams" and other hidden recording devices like pinhole cameras have been favorites of peeping Toms for years, lawmakers say. But the proliferation of tiny cellular telephones that can take pictures silently and shoot video has taken the crime out of bedrooms and bathrooms and into public places such as grocery stores, sidewalks and restaurants.

Some people then transfer the photos to Internet sites featuring what are called "upskirting" and "downblousing," lawmakers said.

While secretly photographing people in a compromising position is against the law in some states Florida and South Dakota instituted cameraphone voyeurism laws in July, for example "what this does is set a national standard," Kolko said.

"It's pretty narrowly crafted, and protects those parts of a person's body that they wouldn't want to be photographed or videotaped, and especially now that photography and video images can be downloaded and transmitted across the Internet within seconds around the world, it gives people protection from worldwide exposure without their consent," he said.

Although the bill limits the jurisdiction to federal property, that doesn't mean it won't be used.

Navy officials in the past few years have twice found small cameras hidden in women's rooms on ships heading out of Norfolk, Va.

In March, a female officer on the cruiser USS Monterey discovered a small wireless camera mounted in the changing area of the women's shower, and in November 2002, Navy officials charged a first-class petty officer on destroyer USS Briscoe with planting a miniature video camera in a women's room on that ship.

The Briscoe sailor pleaded guilty at a summary court-martial and had his rank reduced.

No one was charged in the Monterey incident because the camera was not yet operable and the ship was unable to establish criminal liability to the commanding officer's satisfaction, Charles Owens, spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet Naval Surface Force, said Thursday.

The United States isn't the only place cracking down on camera phones.

Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority barred the use of them for "spreading obscenity," while Australian police in November arrested a man for using his camera phone to take pictures of topless women sunning themselves on a Sydney beach. The phone was ordered destroyed and the man was fined 500 Australian dollars ($388 U.S.) after pleading guilty.

"While it's a personal choice for female sunbathers to sunbake topless at a beach, this type of incident is clearly an invasion of one's privacy," a police spokesman said.

The bill number is S.1301.


Link (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2004-12-10-camphone-law_x.htm)

SpiderMan
12-10-2004, 10:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>
The bill, which President Bush is expected to sign, would make it a crime to videotape or photograph the naked or underwear-covered private parts of a person without consent when the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Conviction could lead to a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

The use of "nanny cams" and other hidden recording devices like pinhole cameras have been favorites of peeping Toms for years, lawmakers say. But the proliferation of tiny cellular telephones that can take pictures silently and shoot video has taken the crime out of bedrooms and bathrooms and into public places such as grocery stores, sidewalks and restaurants.

While secretly photographing people in a compromising position is against the law in some states Florida and South Dakota instituted cameraphone voyeurism laws in July, for example "what this does is set a national standard," Kolko said. <hr /></blockquote>

If someone is in a "compromising position" in a grocery store, on a sidewalk, or in a restaurant, how can they possibly have a "reasonable expectation of privacy"?

SpiderMan

Ross
12-10-2004, 06:52 PM
I think the article was referring to the "upskirt" type of peeping toms operating in grocery stores, etc, not to people running around undressed in those settings. Of course I live in NC now - I don't know what they do in CA. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

pooltchr
12-11-2004, 08:06 AM
Damn, Ross! We live in the wrong state!!!
Reminds me of the old joke about the couple that wanted to join the church, and was told they had to abstain from sex for a week. At the end of the week, the husband admitted that although they tried, at one point his wife dropped a can of corn, and when she bent over to pick it up, he was so aroused, he took her right then and their. The pastor told them they wouldn't be allowed to join the church, and the wife says "That figures! They won't let us come back to Winn-Dixie either! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

PQQLK9
12-11-2004, 08:31 AM
Posted on Sat, Dec. 11, 2004


Suspect accused of videotaping shoppers

Man faces 6 counts of peeping under women's skirts with camera

MELISSA MANWARE

Staff Writer


Police have arrested a Huntersville man accused of secretly videotaping underneath women's skirts at the Northcross Shopping Center, Huntersville police Lt. Ken Richardson said.

Jeffery Dean Hinson, 37, was charged Friday with six felony counts of secretly peeping into a room occupied by another person. He was being held in the Mecklenburg jail with an $18,000 bond late Friday.

Hinson works at the Target in the shopping center and police believe most of the images were shot there and at other stores in that shopping center, Huntersville police said.

A statement released by Target officials on Friday does not say whether Hinson is still employed by the company, and a manager reached at the Northcross store declined to release the status of his employment.

Hinson is accused of putting a book bag containing a video camera underneath women's skirts as they stood at a cash register or shopped, Richardson said.

The women in images are not identifiable.

Huntersville police began investigating two months ago, after receiving a complaint about suspicious behavior.

In the statement released Friday, Target officials said: "We are appalled by the nature of this situation. Target worked extensively with law enforcement during this investigation, and we hope for a swift and just resolution. Target Stores' first priority is always the safety of our guests and team members. It is our goal to provide a safe shopping environment for our communities."

Richardson said the investigation is continuing and other charges are possible. Huntersville police are sharing images found on Hinson's computer with other law enforcement agencies in the area.

Anyone with information that may help in the investigation is asked to call Huntersville police at (704) 875-6542.


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Melissa Manware: (704) 358-5041; mmanware@charlotteobserver.com