US Court Rules Upskirts Legal


Proving that Japanese courts have no monopoly on such rulings, a US high court has ruled taking upskirt photos of women on trains is legal “because they are not nude,” and because they have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in so public a place.

The case which prompted the ruling was the 2010 arrest of a 32-year-old man who was using a cellphone camera to take upskirt pictures of women on Massachusetts public transport.

After complaints about this horrendous crime spree and unlike Japan not being able to easily arrest and convict men based solely on the testimony of female passengers, police finally managed to lure him into snapping up the skirts of a female undercover officer.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of attempting to secretly photograph a person in a state of partial nudity, facing a misdemeanor charges carrying maximum of two and a half years imprisonment.

Rather than go along with this and perhaps risk being brutalised sexually or otherwise in prison or persecuted as a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, he challenged the ruling based on a legalistic quibble: that his victims were not “partially nude” as they were still fully clothed.

After initially being denied in a lower court, the state’s high court subsequently ruled in favour of his appeal, the judge stating that:

“A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these 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.

In sum, we interpret the phrase, ‘a person who is … partially nude’ in the same way that the defendant does, namely, to mean a person who is partially clothed but who has one or more of the private parts of body exposed in plain view at the time that the putative defendant secretly photographs her.”

The man was acquitted, with the court ruling that the law “does not apply to photographing (or videotaping or electronically surveilling) persons who are fully clothed and, in particular, does not reach the type of upskirting that the defendant is charged with attempting to accomplish on the MBTA.”

That the only way citizens in public can enjoy any expectation of privacy or freedom from surveillance, whether of the mass or intimate variety, is to risk arrest themselves by going about in a state of nudity seems likely to delight the US government and their corporate masters, all of whom are increasingly keen on the possibilities offered by being able to track people wherever they go by way of ANPR, cellphone triangulation, transaction records and lately automated facial recognition.

The state prosecutor had no recourse but to complain that the law should be changed so upskirtists could join the 1% (the only alternative to a change in the law perhaps being to have deprived the female officer of her underwear for the duration of the operation):

“Every person, male or female, has a right to privacy beneath his or her own clothing. If the statute as written doesn’t protect that privacy, then I’m urging the Legislature to act rapidly and adjust it so it does.”

Incidentally, both the judge and the man’s lawyer were female, whilst the state prosecutor was male.

Japan also experienced a similar recent ruling, although in that case the legal shenanigans took the opposite direction as the law only prohibited voyeurism in public places, now handily redefined to exclude anywhere hidden camera toting police happen to be.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    19:29 07/03/2014 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The ruling doesn't say that "upskirts are legal". It merely states that the charges brought against the guy were bullshit (taking nude pictures of a clothed person) and therefor he has to be acquitted. It's a reminder for the cops and the prosecution to do their homework better, not a free pass for perverts.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:11 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    But this is the best way for the court system to work. A lot of what's at issue tends to be far too subjective for the purview of legality--something that tends to require ultra-precision. This resulted in the best possible outcome: one pervert acquitted, and the law-makers getting off their asses really quick to fix the law to be more in line with the ultra-precision that courts demand.

    Any court that doesn't set its standards nearly impossibly high is no legitimate court at all. And yes, I totally No-True-Scotsman'ed that statement because it's true, and you know it in your heart of hearts.

    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    07:32 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yup, just a technicality for the many things he was charged with.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:36 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    and within 48 hours, they pasted a bill that made it illegal...

    ...passing budgets on the other hand...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:01 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    While the ruling WAS that the charges were bull, the consequence from that is that upskirts ARE legal unless the victim is going commando.

    It sets a legal precedent, which is used plenty often in court. And while I admit I like upskirt shots, I can separate my fetish and my morals. Upskirts shouldn't be legal.

    And that's the crux of it. The judge is right. His job is to rule according to the law. He may have some freedom to interpret in cases of ambiguity, but this time it's quite clear that the law's loophole permits it. The problem here is that the law is insufficient. The man's actions are legal, and should be ruled as such until legislation is fixed to prevent it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:24 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Totally agreed. As perverted as I am, I've kept public upskirts in my mind as something you should be lucky to catch on your own. I've never allowed myself to purposely seek out footage of unsuspecting women getting filmed under their skirts or changing. I did try once but there was just so much wrong with it, besides the poorly done filming of course... just wasn't hot. I'd rather see it in anime or in videos and pics where there's a model who's allowing it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:44 14/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed. It's just not fun or sexy when a real person is literally being harassed without permission.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:46 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's not the case. The law against taking upskirt pictures was passed on the next morning after this ruling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:49 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sankaku ought to update this article then... lest it leads to a reader getting bright ideas to take upskirt shots and get away scot-free, lol.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:24 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    So the only way of filming something legal is if the woman is not wearing pantsu, but if that's the case, you could say that it was her own choice to give up on something protecting her privacy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:46 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    The only way of filming something (someone) legal is asking that person's permission first. It's really that simple.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:43 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    IANAL, but it depends on the local jurisdiction. In the US, if you are in public, then filming you is perfectly acceptable in most circumstances. It only becomes a problem if you run afoul of another law (ie if upskirt filming was illegal, then that law takes precedence). Obviously these things vary from state to state and country to country, so don't take this on face value and always make sure you know what laws apply in your area.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:58 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm no lawyer, but I'd guess it's about what the central motif of your film is. If you're eg. filming a street scene and there are random people walking down that street, that's fine. But if your entire film is about a certain person or group, you have to ask their permission.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:25 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, remember when my Family was sitting at this Restaurant when some guy took Pictures of his Family.. but the problem was, my Father was also seen in the Picture.. we wre like sitting behind them.
    So he stood up and told that Guy to delete the Picture since he did not agree that to get photographed.
    TL:DR - Random Guy snaps Pic of his Family, but my Father is also in it, so he told him to delete the Pic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:47 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is that really true? I always considered if it was illegal to film anyone without their permission, consent, or knowledge, even if they're just walking down the street casually, but then what about all those random people who end up on something like the news? I'm sure not all of them know they were filmed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:27 07/03/2014 # ! Good (+0.8)

    The way the law was worded didn't specifically say that this illegal. However, it's already been fixed. They passed a bill Thursday specifically making it illegal in response.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:53 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    FUk, well that was quick. Knew it was going to happen, but damn.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:07 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Back to hentai's with you!

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:20 07/03/2014 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You mean ecchi... ecchi show upskirts with panty shots and sometimes camel toe or whar I like to call "practially painted on panties". Hentai shows crotchshots of females without panties... except that it's blurred so you can't see shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:29 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    ToLoveRu is considered "Borderline Hentai"

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:37 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    20:37 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    @20:06 - I have yet to see blurry crotches in ToLoveRu, if anything they show more of the body than in hentai

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:06 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sufficiently advanced ecchi is indistinguishable from hentai

    Exhibit A: ToLoveRu

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:59 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    17:45 12/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well one thing is how much the girl wants to "show" and another very different is just how much respect can others give.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:54 07/03/2014 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Non-consensual upskirt photography is rude and ought to be illegal but two and a half years is too much. 30 days is more appropriate. You get a record and more likely lose your job. But you should not get the "registered sexual offender" crap for a first offense that will haunt you for the rest of you life.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:51 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    AFIK, there are multiple tiers of sex offenders that you can get depending on the crime. You only appear on the list if you are the highest tier.

    That said, I don't really agree with the whole concept at all. If the offenders is question are dangerous, then don't let them out. If not, then there is absolutely no justification to paint such a major stigma on them, aside from perhaps revenge. Then again, the entire US justice system runs on a "tough-on-crime" revenge power trip.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:12 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finally some intelligent consideration. There needs to be some kind of coherent law to allow women to wear what they want without fear of assholes that are clearly overstepping their boundaries. But yeah, maybe something like "minor sexual offense"? Then again that could be mistaken as "sexual offense on minor"...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:46 11/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    if women dont wear nothing in public places i have all right to watch them, or it will limit my freedo![freedom intensifies] Though the no pictures part is of course since it will go against privacy rights

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:52 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    So women will have to go commando to prevent upskirting... Interesting!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:57 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I read it this way too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:25 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    01:36 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I find your lack of ability to detect sarcasm... disturbing. *forcechoke*

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:32 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Isn't that basically what would happen then?

    Strangely enough, as many stories as I've read from women who love to go commando ALREADY, I've never once come across such an upskirt shot on the internet even by accident. I rarely see any at all. One time I wandered onto "that side" of youtube, though... the video quality of those vids is always too terrible to care anyways.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:56 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.3)

    If your skirt is short enough to be filmed, it is on you, not the perv.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:43 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you dont want naked photos of you to be viewed by government employees, don't fly on an airplane. It's on you, not the TSA.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:54 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Attitudes like that keep us from having good things. It sounds like you're saying "if you can't accept that shots of your crotch and ass might end up on the internet without your permission then stop wearing skirts". Just like those assholes trying to "prevent" rapes by telling girls to dress more "modestly". Yeah lets all become amish now out of fear of rapists and pervs...

    If I were a girl, yeah I'd expect perverts and even filming, but putting videos out into the public without consent from whoever is in the video should be criminal.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:47 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Ummmmmmm newsflash, rape does not equal looking.

    Nothing is EVER an excuse for rape.

    But you're damn well getting LOOKED at in a perverted way if you dress yourself as provocatively, otherwise you're saying "I put these clothes on, thereby I am limiting your freedom of where you can point your eyes".

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:38 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And this isn't even about just LOOKING. This is about photoing and filming! I just related the idea that women should watch what they wear to the same stupid idea that idiots say will prevent rape. When did I ever say there is an excuse for rape? Of course there is no excuse for rape, just like there's no excuse for filming someone's privacy with the potential to put it up on the internet. Filming under a schoolgirl's skirt is no less creepy and infringing on privacy than filming her family watching tv through her window without any permission.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:02 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want to make what I said more clear, be cause I never said anything that disagrees with whay you're saying, but sankaku apparently doesn't want my reply to show. This one might not either but worth a shot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:38 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)


    You misread his comment. He was being sarcastic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:12 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    "might end up on the internet without your permission"

    I would not give a quarter of a shit if my dick or my spread asshole lands on the internet if it can't be connected to anything else like my face.

    You see some random ass/upskirt/cunt on the internet, you really want me to tell you also meticulously search for that womens identity among those hundreds of other different asses.

    I also guess you could not tell the asses of your female friends apart If you randomly found them on the internet. And also I might even go so far and say not a single shat will be given then too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:10 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not hard enough, bitch.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:56 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Are you.. trying to say something?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:55 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you don't want photos of your dick on the net wear shorts and pants! dont go around naked.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:33 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    What if your dick is hanging out of your shorts and you don't even realize it? Unfortunately I have seen such a picture on the internet... :( of course, a pic like that is probably always of an older, poor man who doesn't give a shit (and is probably drunk), so it's something most women even probably wouldn't like to see

    Avatar of Rya
    Comment by Rya
    19:37 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    So, women should have an inherent right to tease men? And men are not allowed to give in or face criminal charges? What kind of matriarchal feminazi world are we living in?

    Avatar of Rya
    Comment by Rya
    01:44 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Me being serious on the internet? Never.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:35 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't see how that's sexist. You aren't forbidden from wearing tight clothing on your well toned muscular body, if you had one of those.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Trolls never win, especially if admitted to being one, and even more especially if the troll has a name. May your posts never be read again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:54 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Debating rules of the internet:
    1. spew bullshit until someone proves you are talking out of your ass
    2. declare yourself a troll and claim moral superiority

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:28 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    @20:03 - I'll take your word for it but there's no telling you could just be backpedaling after realizing you said something stupid. It's not hard to believe because I've seen much stupider serious posts around here. In fact I thought I remembered your name from other posts here throwing around the word "matriarchal" but it actually seems like a lot of people are starting to pick that word up lately.. wtf? Did I miss a joke somewhere?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:17 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    >>So, women should have an inherent right to
    >>tease men? And men are not allowed to give in
    >>or face criminal charges?


    Avatar of Rya
    Comment by Rya
    20:03 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nah, I'm just a fucking troll wasting your time and enjoying your tears. I also love playing the devil's advocate.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Are you assuming that all men dislike being teased? You think it doesn't send my heart aflutter to see pretty girls in their short skirts and hotpants in the summertime and that I can't enjoy it without wanting to rape/molest/infringe on their rights? You want that taken away? Who cares about your thoughts on women and feminism, you're a fucking misandrist.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Dress properly with a long dress or you're asking exactly what you want. To be peeped especially if your wearing pants.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:17 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @19:19 - so you're basically supporting the belief that women should basically dress like the Amish or devout muslims (at least, the American equivalent of it) or else being unfairly filmed by a guy is ok?

    Getting looked at is one thing (what kind of intelligent woman wouldn't show cleavage if she didn't want it to be seen?), but no woman should be told it's ok that she got sexually molested or it's ok pictures of her crotch or ass ended up on the internet because of what she was wearing... besides, only paparazzi care about shots like that (where the woman is wearing the flimsiest thing and shouldn't be surprised if her cooch shows up on the internet and I can't recall when they ever were surprised), MOST of the rest of the underskirt shots are probably of schoolgirls who wear boring regular panties. Girls who have to wear basic skirts with a uniform. Not even their own choice to begin with. Now tell them to dress "modestly".

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:16 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I didn't realize so many Amish people visited Sankaku...

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:23 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    you have the best comment, Glad human beings with with brains still exists.

    Avatar of Dark Mage
    Comment by Dark Mage
    00:44 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or do as Misaka Mikoto does and wear shorts under the skirt.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:19 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dress responsibly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:50 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah wear a fucking burqua! you fucking idiots

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:21 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    You don't like good things, do you?

    Comment by Anonymous

    So true. Whores want to be filmed. That's why they wear slutty short skits. In fact, they're asking for the dick. It should be legal to rape 'em.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:15 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why is everyone assuming that only "short/slutty skirts" are the ones being filmed under? What about school uniforms? They probably get phones shoved under them more than any other. They don't only exist in Japan. In fact a ban on skirts would result in an outcry from catholic schools. It'd be like banning headscarves. And isn't it enough to want to be seen and not filmed.. or "dicked"?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:08 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reading comments on this website is like having access to a time machine that only goes 100 years backwards.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:12 08/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    scary how the internet reveals what's really on the minds of the average bloke...

    Comment by Anonymous

    Really? Kinda like the feeling I get on Fox News...

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