Massachusetts alters law to make all upskirt shots illegal

legal gavel

The wheels of justice turn slowly—unless they’re the subject of unflattering headlines on the Internet. Then, the pace of wheel-turning picks up a little bit.

A few days after the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts issued a letter-of-the-law ruling that allowed a man accused of taking “upskirt” photos to avoid prosecution, the legislature changed the letter of the law. Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill Friday, making it illegal to secretly take photographs or videos under someone’s clothing.

The old law prohibited Massachusetts residents from “photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveilling a nude or partially nude person.” And the “nude or partially nude” part of that description was what convinced the court that a Massachusetts man couldn’t be penalized for the photos he took on his smartphone camera of female passngers on an MBTA trolley, since those passengers were wearing underwear. The bill signed by Patrick changes the wording of the law to “the sexual or other intimate parts of a person under or around the person’s clothing,” according to the Boston Globe.

Taking such photos is now a misdemeanor under Massachusetts law, underwear or no. Distributing those photos or videos ups the charge to a felony.

This story, "Massachusetts alters law to make all upskirt shots illegal" was originally published by TechHive.

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