New Laws For New Technologies

from the video-voyeurism dept

For the most part, I get worried when governments come out with new laws to specifically deal with a certain type of technology. Often, they are overreacting to the technology itself – and not realizing that current laws are already sufficient, if enforced properly. However, it sounds like NY may have had pretty weak laws on the books when it came to voyeurism. Previously considered a “peeping tom” misdemeanor problem, it’s now a a felony in NY state to videotape someone in a private place, such as a bedroom or a bathroom. Of course, as cameras get increasingly well hidden, I doubt this will stop people. I also wonder what happens in cases of “accidental” tapings. With the number of security cameras and camera phones out there, isn’t there a risk that a taping that shouldn’t be considered a felony will suddenly count as one? What about the case of the British pub rape we discussed last week? In that situation, someone filmed the rape in a bathroom (a private setting) and the participants were unaware the filming was going on. Under the new law, have they now committed a felony?

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