8 November 2013, 14:15

First Amendment guarantees protection to "upskirt" photographers in US

First Amendment guarantees protection to "upskirt" photographers in US

A man from Massachusetts state claims that he has the constitutional right to take "upskirt" photos of women in public. The right is protected under the First amendment to the US Constitution.

"If a clothed person reveals a body part whether it was intentional or unintentional, he or she can not expect privacy," Attorney Michelle Menken told the seven justices at the state Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of her client, Michael Robertson, 31.

Robertson was arrested in August 2010 for allegedly trying to take "upskirt" photos of women on Boston’s Green Line subway.

According to the lawyer, women "can not expect privacy" in a subway from people like her client. She also argued he could not be guilty of photographing a "partially nude" person because the women in the photos were fully clothed, and their genitalia was covered by underwear.

Menken said she is worried about First Amendment rights being violated if Robertson is convicted.

"For example, say a woman is breast feeding in public and someone who is morally opposed to this or even a journalist takes a picture. The woman may be covered but for some reason the picture shows a little bit of her breast. Now, that person who took the photo can be charged with the same thing," Menken maintained.

"What if a photographer is doing a project of people on the subway or out in public and he wants to get candids. Can he now not do that," he asked Attorney.

Michael Robertson is charged with two counts of photographing an unsuspecting nude or partially nude person, the Eagle Tribune reports, and faces more than two years in jail if found guilty.

Voice of Russia, the Huffington Post, eagletribune.com

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