A law that would make it a criminal offense in the UK to take "upskirting" photos was blocked Friday in Parliament despite receiving backing from the British government, reports the AP. Upskirting involves taking a photo or video under someone's clothing without their consent. The initiative was stopped by a single Conservative Party legislator who objected when the bill was put forward in the House of Commons. Some lawmakers who supported the measure shouted "shame" after Christopher Chope singlehandedly thwarted the proposal simply by shouting "Object!" Parliamentary rules make it hard for bills introduced by backbench lawmakers, rather than the government, to make progress. They can be halted by an objection from one lawmaker.
The government had endorsed the legislation earlier Friday. British Justice Minister Lucy Frazer called the practice "a hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed." She said making upskirting a specific offense would send a clear message that perpetrators will be punished. The law would allow for prison sentences of up to two years in the most egregious cases. It is expected to be resubmitted in July. Upskirting, which has become more common in recent years with the adoption of smartphones, is already illegal in Scotland.
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