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Upskirting is legal, rules US top court

Last updated on: March 06, 2014 13:30 IST

Upskirting is legal, rules US top court

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Ladies, beware of what you wear – if you are in Massachusetts!

The top court in Massachusetts has ruled that 'upskirting' - the practice of secretly photographing under a woman's skirt -- is not prohibited by state law.

The shocking decision by the Massachusetts's high court said that a state law intended to prohibit 'Peeping Tom' voyeurism of completely or partially undressed people did not apply to those who take pictures of people who are fully clothed.

The ruling exonerated a man previously charged with taking unauthorised pictures of women on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority trolly.

Michael Robertson was charged in December 2011 with the act before successfully appealing the ruling to the Massachusetts supreme judicial Court, Boston.com reported.

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Image: A football fan poses ahead of a match
Photographs: David Mercado/Reuters

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The court focused on the language of the law, which prohibits secret photography of "a person ... who is partially nude."

"A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering [private] parts of her body is not a person who is 'partially nude', no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing," the court said in its ruling.

Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo described the court's ruling as obeying a legal loophole that he intends to change.

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Image: The court has prohibitted photographs of people who are 'partially nude'
Photographs: Thomas Peter/Reuters

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"The ruling of the supreme judicial court is contrary to the spirit of the current law. The House will begin work on updating our statutes to conform with today's technology immediately," DeLeo said.

According to New York Daily News, several Twitter users also immediately voiced criticism, with one woman writing: "Not all assault is physical.

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Image: Th ruling sparked a debate on Twitter
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
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