Feeds

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

Talking to strangers? You're under arrest

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.