Up-Skirt Filming Banned in Washington State

On May 12, Washington State Gov. Gary Locke signed into law legislation banning so-called “up-skirt” filming of women in public places.

In 2002 two men were arrested and charged with violating Washington’s anti-voyeur statutes after they were caught surreptitiously filming up the skirts of women at and outdoor festival. A state court ruled, however, that such activities were not covered by the anti-voyeur statute (largely, as one Washington state representative put it, because nobody in the legislature imagined anyone would engage in this sort of activity).

Once some initial partisan posturing was out of the way, the law sailed through Washington’s legislature, passing its Senate in an unanimous 97-0 vote in April. It makes up-skirting filming a felony punishable by up to a year in jail.


Legislature 2003: Locke signs up-skirt camera ban: Violators of voyeurism law face 3- to 12-month term. Steven Friederich, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 13, 2003.

‘Up-skirt’ camera ban goes to Locke. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 23, 2003.

Law targets ‘Up-Skirt’ filming. Reuters, January 3, 2003.

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