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Germany

New Law to Curb Camera-savvy Peeping Toms

Tabloid photographers or camera-happy voyeurs in Germany, who film or photograph people in intimate situations, will in future have to reckon with a fine or a year in prison. German legislators are planning to implement a new paragraph in the penal code called "protection of the intimate sphere". It foresees the penalization of any person who "takes unpermitted images of people in an apartment or a room well-concealed from the public and thus hurts their highly personal life." The proposed legislation has been lent a new urgency in the light of an increasing number of Internet sites, featuring ordinary citizens, who are secretly photographed nude or semi-naked in toilets, changing rooms or their own gardens. The law makes no exception for press photographers.