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This is the first in a two-part series by Deepthi Bavirisetty on the law on upskirt photography in USA, Japan and India. Deepthi is a 4th Year Law student at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Calcutta. She is extremely interested in the intersection between gender and technology. She has previously authored a paper on Revenge Porn.
‘Upskirt’ photography, as the term suggests, refers to the voyeuristic practice of covertly taking pictures of women under their clothing without their consent or knowledge. These pictures, labeled ‘creepshots’, are generally pictures of a woman’s private areas. They are then widely disseminated via the internet, infamously through sites such as Reddit and 4chan.
In 2014, the legality of upskirt photography was brought into question before the US Courts across three different jurisdictions –Washington DC, Massachusetts and Texas. The first part of this post addresses the American perspective on the issue. It seeks to illustrate how America would rather err on the side of caution and permit the morally reprehensible acts of upskirt photography than curtail free speech. The second portion of the post looks into the Japanese perspective on creepshots, which is the polar opposite. Japan prioritizes women’s safety above free speech concerns. This portion of the post also looks into the curious phenomenon of cellphone manufacturers taking law into their own hands to regulate upskirt photography. I argue that this is a classic example of Lessig’s adage ‘code is law, law is code’. I conclude by extrapolating where India lies on the legal spectrum with regard to regulating upskirt photography. Continue reading ‘Skirting’ the Law, Part I
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This is the second in a two-part series by Deepthi Bavirisetty on the law of upskirt photography in USA, Japan and India – this part deals with Japan and India. The first part is available here.
1. Anti-Nuisance Ordinance
Japan has enacted an Anti Nuisance Ordinance to curtail upskirt photography or “panchira” as it is locally called. In 2008, the Japanese Supreme Court punished a man under this ordinance. The man was found to have taken 11 pictures of the woman’s butt/hip region. It is to be noted that the woman in the photograph was wearing all her clothes. Subsequently, in 2011 a man was arrested for taking pictures of a fully clothed woman sleeping on a train. Continue reading ‘Skirting’ the Law, Part II
For Facebook, it has never been about the profit, but the users. The social network has spent more than $22 billion on acquisitions, which includes $19 billion on WhatsApp exclusively! That is 2000 times the annual revenue of WhatsApp! Other popular acquisitions include Instagram ($1 billion), Oculus ($ 2 billion) and Atlas ($100 million). With recent psychological experiments conducted by Facebook on its unsuspecting users coming to surface, it becomes imperative to understand how our information is being collected, stored or used. In this blog post, I have tried to analyze the privacy policies (before and after) of three of Facebook’s major acquisitions – Instagram, Moves and WhatsApp.
Continue reading Facebook’s Acquisitions: A Before and After Comparison of Privacy
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Social networking websites have taken the Internet by storm in today’s organic society. One such website, Facebook, with over a billion users has often been referred to as the ‘third largest country’ of the world. The rise of Facebook to soaring heights can be credited to first, the intensive monitoring of its users which enables the company to provide them tailor made services, targeted advertising and second, of course to Metcalfe’s Law, which in common parlance means that the more users there are on a social networking site, the more attractive it will be to people who are contemplating joining. In this blog post, I have tried to analyze Facebook’s privacy policies along the lines of the National Privacy Principles. These principles have been comprehensively dealt with by Justice A.P. Shah in his ‘Report on Privacy’, published by the Planning Commission of India. They also closely tie to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Privacy Principles and European Union’s Data Protection Directives.
Continue reading Privacy on Facebook: An Absolute Prerequisite
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This post talks about the new challenges that are faced by the legal system with the coming of the new wearable technology that is available to the public. Practical situations are examined and the law is scrutinized with respect to the changes required to bring it up to speed.
Continue reading Apple Watch, Google GLASS, and Other Wearables: A Privacy Nightmare?
The second post in the two-part series on Data Retention laws in India and abroad, by Balaji Subramanian. The first part can be found here.
In Foreign Lands: US and the EU
Earlier, I’ve given a broad picture of the data retention scenario in India. Now, I attempt to draw a comparison between India and other, more “advanced” jurisdictions such as the US and the EU.
In the US, data retention is conducted voluntarily by service providers, without any statutory imperative. Several prominent voices from law enforcement have advocated the promulgation of laws that enable mandatory data retention and specify the duration, means and extent of such retention. However, these attempts have failed several times, with two federal Bills lapsing. Continue reading Data Retention Protocols: A Critical Appraisal of the Telecom Surveillance Apparatus in India and Abroad (Part II)
The following is the first in a two-post series by Balaji Subramanian on Data Retention, a second-year student at NALSAR. Balaji is quite interested in Technology and Cyber Law, and has worked on issues ranging from Cyber Forensics to Data Retention., interning with CIPRA at NLSIU and Tanikella Rastogi Associates on related issues.
Descriptively, data retention refers to the gathering and storing of information relating to subscribers’ use of telecommunications networks. This storage happens at a remote location, inaccessible to the user whose activities are the origin of the stored data. Typically, data retention protocols require the continuous collection of certain parameters from internet users and the maintenance of comprehensive records of user activity, in one form or another. Retention can be done at the ISP level, as a commercial decision on the part of the service provider, or at the regulatory level, as a national policy decision on the part of the State in order to achieve larger goals of law enforcement and public order. Over the course of two posts, I will attempt to construct a brief critique of the policies adopted, first narrating the Indian stance and then using contemporary global trends as a yardstick against which this stance can be measured. Continue reading Data Retention Protocols: A Critical Appraisal of the Telecom Surveillance Apparatus in India and Abroad (Part I)