Texas Throws Out Law Banning Creepshots

The Texas Supreme Court threw out a ban on “creepshots” this week, saying that it’s “paternalistic” for the government to “regulate the defendant’s mind” in a case in which someone takes illicit photos of another person, in public, without the subject’s consent.

Jenny Kutner at Slate points out the very real fact of the matter, which is that thinking lascivious thoughts about someone and making them the unwitting subject of a pornographic photograph are two clearly distinct things. However — and I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion or not — I personally agree with the ruling for reasons other than what the court put forth. The language of the proposed law stated that it would ban “improper photography or visual recording.” Considering we live in a culture in which some people clutch their pearls over spaghetti-strap tank tops and others believe that nothing is “improper,” it’d be hard to set a standard for what exactly “improper” would mean in this context that wouldn’t be too broad. Vague language kills laws with good intentions all the time. I’d love to see a law banning creepshots that would be specific enough not to put street photographers (ahem — *raises hand*) at risk of fines or incarceration. [Slate]