Feeds

Shopping mall mulls Supreme Court bid to back no-speaking ban

Talking to strangers? You're under arrest

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A California shopping mall may ask the State Supreme Court to defend its ban on its patrons speaking to one another except to ask where the toilet is.

Judges on the 3rd District Court of Appeal last week ruled that the Westfield Galleria in Roseville's ban on a visitor "approaching patrons with whom he or she was not previously acquainted for the purpose of communicating with them on a topic unrelated to the business interests [of the mall and its tenants]" was, on the face of it, unconstitutional.

The ban on strangers speaking to each other emerged when security staff felt the collar of Matthew Snatchko, a youth pastor who had gone there to spread the good news to strangers, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Snatchko apparently found three young women who were happy to discuss his beliefs in a common area of the mall. However, a store employee was troubled by Snatchko's demagoguery and called security.

When Snatchko refused to stop talking to the women or leave the mall, the security team put him under "citizen's arrest", slapped on the cuffs, and handed him over to local cops. They apparently released him, and the charges were dropped.

Snatchko then, unsurprisingly, sued the mall and the security firm, and as the Bee puts it, is seeking "damages in an unspecified amount for false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malicious prosecution, and a general violation of his rights under California's Civil Rights Act".

While the damages claim is predictable, the fact that Westfield apparently bans patrons from talking to one another without a formal introduction has made people sit up.

The mall insisted this was an oversimplification, saying that visitors were welcome to speak to strangers - as long as they had previously filled out an application to do so, and that this had been approved by the mall. The Bee reports that during the deposition process, Snatchko's attorney asked the mall's manager whether saying "Hey, hope you're supporting the Patriots" or "Hope you're supporting the Giants this week" would violate the rule.

The manager replied, "You can go in and again fill out a third-party access, if that's what a person chooses to do."

Westfield said it was disappointed with the decision, and was considering its options, including an appeal to the California Supreme Court. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.