Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

March 13, 2014

A swift end to 'upskirting' a matter of common sense

(Continued)

But to assert that the women could not “reasonably” expect privacy for their private parts while on the T is absurd.

Name one reasonable person who, until the court weighed in last week, would have said it’s OK to go fumbling under a woman’s clothing by means of a camera.

And the fact the trolley cars have security cameras is irrelevant unless the cameras are mounted on the floor pointing up.

The decision was yet another example of the death of common sense in the higher courts.

There’s a simple reason the law did not specifically ban “upskirting.” It’s because it never would have occurred to anyone but a member of the SJC that it needed to be spelled out that it was wrong.

In days long gone, when people had a sense of decency and respect for others, someone caught shooting such photos would have been in for a horsewhipping or worse.

Fortunately, the Legislature saw better and the House and Senate moved quickly to outlaw “upskirting” a day after the court’s ruling.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray fast-tracked the bill, which was written and approved by both branches and sent to the governor’s desk for his signature with unusual haste.

“I’m happy with the speed. I’m very unhappy that we had to do this today, that this is not illegal activity already,” Murray said after the Senate voted 39-0 to approve the bill. “

New laws really shouldn’t be necessary. But no doubt we will need even more of them, as new, more invasive technologies come on the market to enable as yet unimagined outrages. Murray herself said she expects the issue of privacy surround the use of drones to be something lawmakers will be tackling in the near future.

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