Upskirting bill helps to protect privacy

DAILY SUN NEWS EDITORIAL

In this day and age when technology seems to be outpacing our laws, a Goldendale lawmaker is looking for ways to protect the public from unwanted electronic intrusion.

This week, Rep. Gina McCabe’s House Bill 1200 took a step closer to becoming law. McCabe’s bill targets the practice of “upskirting,” where someone uses a cellphone or other personal information device to take photographs or videos under a woman’s skirt without their knowledge.

Current law requires proof an upskirt perpetrator is capturing images for sexual gratification. McCabe’s bill eliminates the sexual gratification requirement and establishes the crime of second-degree voyeurism.

You would think that a law of this kind wouldn’t be necessary in our country. But even entrusted officials have been caught upskirting. McCabe is quick to point out that last summer a Seattle-based Transporation Security Administration employee was caught taking photographs underneath women’s dresses. And she also points out that an Evergreen High School teacher in Vancouver was arrested two years ago on two counts of upskirt voyeurism.

McCabe’s bill is a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting state residents from unwanted electronic intrusion. Hopefully, the Senate will act quickly to approve the measure and forward it on to Gov. Inslee for his signature.

We hope her bill provides the framework to deal with other types of electronic invasion of privacy from drones, phones, tablets and more. Every resident should be protected from these types of unwanted intrusions.



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