stories filed under: "loitering"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Feb 14th 2008 6:11am
Back in 2005, we wrote about the Mosquito device that some shopkeepers were using to ward off loitering teens. The device supposedly emitted a high-pitched buzz that was inaudible to older folks whose hearing range had decreased. Generally, the noise could be heard by teens and some folks into their early twenties. Amusingly, some teens figured out a way to turn this noise to their own advantage, recording it and turning it into a ringtone that adults couldn't hear. Yet, The Raw Feed now lets us know that UK politicians are looking to ban the Mosquito device for violating the rights of teenagers, noting that it indiscriminately targeted all children and young people, even if they hadn't been doing anything wrong. That's certainly true, and it does seem rather silly to use this device in the first place, but does that mean it's actually violating anyone's rights? Is it illegal to play a noise that annoys people? Does it matter that it only annoys a certain age group? What if a store simply played music that annoyed a certain age group? Would that also be illegal?