Feeds

Boston court confirms Peeping Tom's right to upskirt

'Not prohibited' under Massachusetts state law

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that upskirting is not prohibited under existing state law, the Boston Globe reports.

The ruling came in the case of Michael Robertson, a 31-year-old arrested back in 2010 for "allegedly attempting to upskirt female passengers on Boston’s Green Line subway with his mobile phone".

Robertson was charged with "two counts of photographing an unsuspecting nude or partially nude person" under Massachusetts "Peeping Tom" laws. However, back in November last year, his attorney Michelle Menken stressed to the court's seven justices that the legislation was designed to "protect women and men from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms who are nude or partially nude".

She argued that since the women in Robertson's photographs "cannot be considered partially nude because their underwear covered everything and no private parts could be seen in the pictures taken", there was no violation of current law.

Attorney Cailin Campbell, for the state, countered that "there is an understandable expectation that one can have on not being photographed like that in that kind of setting", adding that since the images were "upskirt photos of women, they can be considered partially nude even if they were fully clothed".

Justice Ralph Gants remarked: "So by that standard, everyone in this courtroom could be considered partially nude."

Yesterday, the court decided that "nude or partially nude" meant just that. Delivering the unanimous verdict, Justice Margot Botsford wrote: "A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering [private] parts of her body is not a person who is 'partially nude', no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing."

The judges describe the prosecution's proposition "that a woman, and in particular a woman riding on a public trolley, has a reasonable expectation of privacy in not having a stranger secretly take photographs up her skirt" as "eminently reasonable". Nonetheless, they confirmed that the law as it stands "does not address it".

Robert A DeLeo, speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, said yesterday the powers that be would immediately address the issue, and "begin looking at ways of closing the loophole in the law". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.