Friday, September 19, 2014

Texas court upholds right to take 'upskirt' photos

Judges expressed concern that the broadly-worded law could lead to the criminalisation of paparazzi journalists, among others. Photograph: Rex Features
A court has upheld the constitutional right of Texans to photograph strangers as an essential component of freedom of speech - even if those images should happen to be surreptitious “upskirt” pictures of women taken for the purposes of sexual gratification.

Criticising an anti-“creepshot” law as a “paternalistic” intrusion on a person’s right to be aroused, the Texas court of criminal appeals struck down part of the state’s “improper photography or visual recording” statute which banned photographing, broadcasting or transmitting a visual image of another person without the other’s consent and with the intention to “arouse or gratify … sexual desire”.

The case stemmed from the arrest of a man in his early 50s named Ronald Thompson who was stopped in 2011 at Sea World in San Antonio after parents reported him swimming with and taking pictures of children aged 3-11. The local district attorney’s office said that he tried to delete the photographs before his camera was seized and a police examination of it revealed 73 images of children in swimsuits “with most of the photographs targeting the children’s breast and buttocks areas”.

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Editors Note: If this happened in Maine the Police would probably never have been called. The parents would have politely informed this gentleman that he shouldn't take pictures of their kids.  :)