Technology Spawns A New Kind Of Peeping Tom

Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory has a really interesting piece up this week: “Porn in a Flash.” It’s about “upskirting,” the unsuspecting women who star in it, and how there’s not always a lot the law can do to stop it. What’s upskirting? Basically, it’s an “up the skirt” photo or video, taken by a digital Peeping Tom, who shoots surreptitiously. Cellphones enabled the genre, and websites are dedicated to upskirt shots. For the women, it’s like starring in a soft-core shoot — without their knowledge. In the past, women turned to state “Peeping Tom laws,” but, in a unique twist, because the act takes place in public, women don’t have a “right to a reasonable expectation of privacy,” spawning “a frontier of rogue pornographers from all over the world.” Clark-Flory writes: “It’s such a craze in Japan that cellphone cameras now come with a shutter sound that alerts bystanders that a photo is being taken; in that country, even the iPhone 3G features an extra-loud anti-upskirt alarm.” While Britney helped popularized the upskirt phenomenon when she flashed her, um, Britney for the paps, for other women, upskirting is digital overexposure. [Salon]

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