crime

Own a pair of secret camera shoes? The police should be by shortly for a visit

49 Comments

For most of this summer, Kyoto Prefectural Police have been carrying out an aggressive campaign of going to people’s homes and asking them to voluntarily give up their shoes with built-in hidden cameras. These house calls have resulted in hundreds of pairs of these “tosatsu shoes” (voyeur shoes) winding up in police custody.

The shoes contain a hidden camera in the toe behind some mesh which is operated by a remote control

This plan to deter the use of tosatsu shoes to illegally film in private areas such as up women’s skirts had proved so successful that police in Kyoto are spreading the word to other departments and will continue the same tactics in the future.

This strategy started back in mid-July when Kyoto police decided that rather than chase down individual peepers on the streets, they could hit the suppliers instead. On July 1, they raided a camera supply company that sells tosatsu shoes on the side.

They arrested the 26-year-old manager for “aiding voyeurism” which is a violation of the Nuisance Prevention Ordinance and fined him 500,000 yen. While putting the supplier out of the shoe camera business and confiscating their supply was a victory for the police, it later proved to be a mere drop in the bucket.

Several other tosatsu shoe vendors were still selling online with impunity and later that month an Okayama man was arrested while attempting to film up young girls’ skirts at the Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka. The shoes he used were from the same company the police had previously raided.

According to police, that company had sold about 2,500 pairs of tosatsu shoes from 2012 to 2014 for a total revenue of around 60 million yen. Setting the money aside for a moment, consider that 2,500 pairs of camera shoes were in circulation in a two-year period. Considering this is only from one company, think about how much pervy recording must be going on out there and get ready for a good boggling of the mind.

Luckily for the police, also seized during the search was a list of about 1,500 customers with their delivery addresses. By mid-August they came up with the plan to pay these former customers a visit one by one. This was tricky as simply owning a pair of camera shoes isn’t illegal and the owners technically didn’t have to relinquish them.

Nevertheless, the Kyoto Prefectural Police relying heavily on the fact that they are police and therefore intimidating, asked each customer to hand over their tosatsu shoes and fill out a “disposal request” on which they have to state why they purchased the shoes in the first place.

They went on, house by house, until, as reported by a police spokesperson, almost all of the shoes in Kyoto were collected – with the exception of a few who “threw them away.” They are also passing along addresses of customers outside of the jurisdiction to the appropriate authorities.

So if you happen to own a pair of tosatsu shoes, you may want to consider disposing of them before the police come a’knocking. But chances are if you were dense enough to buy them online and leave a record of the transaction with your correct name and address, you aren’t going to listen to me anyway.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 27-year-old in Japan arrested for 3-D printed pistol, says he didn’t know it was illegal -- Man arrested for trying to take a video up girls’ skirts, recorded self as well -- New North Korean Sneakers Bear More than a Passing Resemblance to Japanese Brand

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49 Comments
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Yeah Jcops ! Collect all those shoes. Not only it serves any legal purposes but it's also ugly. GARBAGE!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I don't think I will ever understand this desire of filming someone underwear. But just like the writer for this article said, someone has to be really thick to try to do it and still leave a digital trail, and there is no reasoning with them. Could the police check if they have actually filmed something and slam them with an invasion of privacy charge as well?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

While I don't condone the purpose of these shoes, I have to think there aren't many democratic countries where the police would be capable or dare to do something like what's mentioned in this article.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

It is a matter of the context, not the act itself, that poses the problem.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'd really like to know what possible reasons these creeps could give for needing to own a pair of shoes like these asides for filming up women's skirts.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

These house calls have resulted in hundreds of pairs of these “tosatsu shoes” (voyeur shoes) winding up in police custody.

hundreds of pairs? Sjeesh, how many voyeurs are in this country?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm not in any way condoning this behavior, but I always wonder- how exactly are people getting caught doing this? Can security cameras detects something (IR light?) or are these idiots shoving their shoes so far under skirts that it's blatantly obvious?

Also, agreed with Paulinusa: It's pretty obvious that these shoes are designed for a very specific, perverted purpose....but this raises a lot of questions:

If the devices are legal can police simply decide to seize them and fine the shop owner? And if yes, is it because there is no real practical use for these shoes other than the obvious?

What else can the police decide to seize?

Could this constitute harassment by the police? (not saying the owners are angels or whatnot..but let's assume at least one guy has some bizarre, pure intentioned plan for these shoes like...filming..trees? At any rate, refusing to cooperate with police is like refusing to do a "favor" for your boss- it's hard to do and often there are repercussions)

4 ( +7 / -3 )

How sad do you have to be, to get a thrill out of filming girls' and women's underwear. Then there's the toilet fetish. Seriously, these aspects of society need attending to, a JA Campaign for starters. It's beyond anything that can be accepted, a total invasion of privacy. These guys, who are caught doing this, should have photos of them in their underwear posted online, or on the side of trains, so we can see them in the same exposed Vulnerability. Pathetic. Sad. People in need of help, support and guidance. Get a constructive hobby for christ sake!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

paulinusa, you are right.

I hope some activist lawyer takes the police up on this issue.

The end does not justify the means.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

That's pretty screwed up, but how the hell is this sort of police intimidation legal?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I wonder how many went "missing" in the course of the confiscation..

5 ( +8 / -3 )

well considering that the guys who bought the shoes were probably very nerdy and scared, it wouldn't be so hard for the cops to intimidate them into "voluntarily" giving them the shoes. civil rights trampled for a good cause? it's a toss up.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The police will be by to visit... why? to compare notes and swap pictures? On several occasions it's been police of military personnel that engage in lewd acts like camera shoes and/or up-skirt photos.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I don't have a problem with police doing stuff like this. It's actual crime prevention in action as there's really no real legitimate use for such a device. I just hope they are actually destroying the devices they're taking and don't let them fall into the hands of the various perverts working as cops.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It looks like Amazon Japan sells, or was selling, video camera-equipped shoes, or "靴型ビデオカメラ" (still on their website, but out of stock). There are probably scores of online retailers who in total have sold tens of thousands of this type of product.

Here is the link: http://goo.gl/Emnkzx

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@DiscoJ: While I agree that this specific device should be taken away I am concerned about the legality of this action. Additionally the privacy of it.

What are the limits of police deciding what is and isn't voyeurism? Going to impossible extremes we're talking Minority Report or the Thought Police. Many electronics shops and even some airplane magazines sell cameras hidden in glasses, pens and all manner of stuff. Are they "aiding voyeurism"?

Additionally, what about customer confidentiality? Should customers have to factor in the police when making legal purchases?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

While I can certainly appreciate societal efforts to curb this -- and virtually any -- kind of voyeurism, I'm not exactly excited about the idea of a police force accessing private customer databases and using that information to track down and intimidate said customers into giving up their purchases when NONE of what has transpired in the transaction is illegal. The cameras themselves are not illegal. The purchace of such cameras is not illegal. Even the employment of such cameras is not illegal, at least not until one chooses to shove the camera under an unsuspecting victim's skirt or dress and start clicking away.

The cops are seriously overreaching here with an astonishingly broad application of prejudicial power with no legal basis beyond suspicion of what the shoes might be used for.

"Knock knock"

"Yes?"

"Do you have a shoe camera?"

"Yes. Why?"

"You're going to have to give it to me."

"Why?"

"Because it could be used to commit a crime."

"But I won't use it to commit a crime."

"Doesn't matter. Give it to us."

"But I bought it legally."

"Doesn't matter. Give it to us."

"But I paid for it. Who's going to reimburse me for this entirely legal purchase?"

"Don't know. Don’t care. Give it to us. Or else…." {thinly concealed implied threat left hanging in the air….}

That's more than a little scary. Just replace "shoe camera" with "cell phone," or "lap top" or "car keys" under the same justification ("It could be used to break the law.") and we've got ourselves some full-fledged authoritarianism here.

It wasn’t all that long ago or far away that the Japanese military police, the kempeitai, enjoyed similar liberties over the civilian population.

Again, I can see the good intentions at work here, but the dangerous precedent it creates serves to ensure that proverbial road to hell will be paved sooner than later.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I have to think there aren't many democratic countries where the police would be capable or dare to do something like what's mentioned in this article.

I don't understand this comment. People are not required to hand over the shoes as they are not illegal. Immoral as heck, yes, but not illegal.

The police are just trying to get the supply off the streets, voluntarily. You don't have to comply.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

[The police] arrested the 26-year-old manager [of a shoe camera supplier] for “aiding voyeurism” which is a violation of the Nuisance Prevention Ordinance and fined him 500,000 yen...putting the supplier out of the shoe camera business and confiscating their supply

@LFRAgain -- That was an excellent "slippery slope" argument. Sadly, my experience in Japan has been that most people under a certain age have never even heard of the Kempeitai, so few people hear seem to have any sense of outrage whatsoever when the police overstep their bounds.

Extending your argument, I wonder about the legality of the police arresting the store manager (then putting him out of business and confiscating his records). In Japan, if a person buys a legal product and uses it for illegal ends, does that put the seller in jeopardy of breaking the law?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's always avoid the source and just try to treat the symptoms in Japan. Why, instead of visiting people who buy this product and confiscating it despite them doing NOTHING illegal, not just make sales of the cameras illegal? Why is the skirting of common sense such an everyday affair here?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There are all sorts of perversions and fethises in this world. Some are harmful to others some not. This up-skirt fethish, while an invasion of privacy to the victim, is harmless. It causes no physical harm. I would suggest that 99% of victims dont know it has taken place. All the guys on here who are taking the high moral ground in condemnation make me laugh. What guy has never had a smile on his face when a gust of wind has raised a skirt to reveal a pretty pair of panties. As for the police confiscating these camera shoes, if they are legal to sell, they are legal to own.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pandabelle,

The police are just trying to get the supply off the streets, voluntarily. You don't have to comply.

The police accessed what should be a private customer database and used this information to visit private citizens to tell them they know they purchased these cameras and that they want them to give them up. All without any crimes being committed that they could prove in a court of law. All without a warrant. All without any of the due process mechanisms traditionally taken as granted in a civilized, modern justice system.

The police are violating privacy in a way that few democracies in the world would tolerate (unless you're American, of course), and they're doing it under the auspices of "for the public good," which makes it all the more insidious considering how subjective a statement this can be when no actual criminal charges are being levelled. Also at work is the intimidation factor of police coming knocking on your door in the middle of the day to talk to you about your entirely legal consumer purchasing practices. The police have no legal right to even know who purchased those shoes in the first place, much less act on that information by going door-to-door asking citizens to give up these shoes, even voluntarily,

The police are treading dangerously close to breaking the law here, and I'm genuinely astounded that no one in the Japanese legal community is raising more of a stink about it.

Sensato,

I agree. The arrest of the shop owner under such ultimately unprovable charges as “aiding voyeurism” seems legally dubious at best. Again, just to be clear, I'm firmly against voyeurism, particularly the kind that leaves eternal digital footprints. But this isn't the way to combat it.

I would venture to guess the arrest of the shopkeeper was part of a broader strategy to allow the police to get their hands on the client list. They knew their case against the shop keeper might very well be kicked, but not before they got what they were really looking for in the materials seized as part of their "investigation," i.e., a paper trail leading to potential voyeurs.

Last I checked, Japan's legal system was still predicated on the tenet of presumption of innocence, rather than assumption of guilt. Did something change that I wasn't aware of? The police's efforts here, however laudable in their intent, are an abuse of power, pure and simple.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

IN the UK they would be sold as "novelty items" like car registration plates with the letters and numbers moved around to make there names ect, it not illegal to own them but it is when someone puts them on there car, could this be the case that they Japanese retailers sell them as Novelty items? but looking at it from a different angle the J,cops are being proactive and doing something about this problem. would they be confiscated if the bloke told the cops that he used them as a security device in his flat, especially if they were proper up an angle where the front door is, it could record whoever came in or out of the flat, including a thief!.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's more than a little scary. Just replace "shoe camera" with "cell phone," or "lap top" or "car keys" under the same justification ("It could be used to break the law.") and we've got ourselves some full-fledged authoritarianism here.

LFRAgain: Before I comment further, I do not agree with the products, but do not agree with the largely illegal way in which the police have collected them.

But I do not accept the 'slippery slope' argument you have presented. Whereas the cell phone, lap top or car keys, or just about anything else, could be used to commit a crime, the camera in question is the only one designed for the express purpose of committing crime.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't get it. Maybe I am a bit too happily married, or maybe I just had too good a time as a teenager, but for the life of me I can't understand the desire to film up a women's dress. I know that breaking rules can give a thrill, but seriously, these people need to get a hobby or better still, find someone they love who they can have loads of sex with.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LFRAgain

The police accessed what should be a private customer database and used this information to visit private citizens to tell them they know they purchased these cameras and that they want them to give them up. All without any crimes being committed that they could prove in a court of law. All without a warrant.

It's not a private customer database anymore than a drug dealer's client list is private and protected. And the police anywhere surely don't need a warrant to ask someone - ask, not compel - to give up these shoes. They're not raiding people's homes.

smith

Why, instead of visiting people who buy this product and confiscating it despite them doing NOTHING illegal, not just make sales of the cameras illegal? Why is the skirting of common sense such an everyday affair here?

They aren't confiscating anything, they are requesting that people turn them in. Which they are. They are not required to do so.

And how exactly to you plan on making sales of small cameras illegal? Because that all this is, a pinhole camera in a shoe. Do you propose that all small cameras be made illegal? Where's the common sense in that?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@pandabelle: drug dealing and the sale of legal products in a store is very different. These cameras, although terrible Suppose for example I bought wild and crazy leather "evening wear" for the Misses. I certainly would not want anyone to know about that, much less have police having a database on it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's not a private customer database anymore than a drug dealer's client list is private and protected. And the police anywhere surely don't need a warrant to ask someone - ask, not compel - to give up these shoes. They're not raiding people's homes.

DATA bases are protected by law and if the police need access they are required to obtain a warrant from the courts.

Since the shoes are not illegal the police have no right to knock on people's doors asking for them to give them up. The police have over stepped their mark and should be pulled up for it.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The police have over stepped their mark and should be pulled up for it.

I wonder if you would have the same sentiments if one of these creeps had been filming up your daughter's or your wife's skirts with the recording sold on to voyeur porn sites for worldwide consumption. Since it would be almost impossible to draft a law specific enough to make this kind of camera illegal (it's basically just a separate camera and shoe), I think the police did an admirable job in confiscating these objects quite legally by requesting offenders to hand them over. The seller of the shoes handed over the list of customers to the police in the first place. And really, should people who carry out such a grotesque invasion of another's privacy really have their own privacy protected?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"tosatsu ( voyeur ) shoes"

Some people have nothing better to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I live in Kyoto, and was paid a visit by the cops today. I didn't answer and they went away, but I was unaware of this news. I don't but if I did have a pair of these shoes, I wouldn't put them at the genkan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah_so,

the camera in question is the only one designed for the express purpose of committing crime.

You're right. So the best way to handle this sort of product is to regulate or outlaw it, not circumvent the law and constitutionally protected civil liberties by seizing private customer details and making visits to the homes of people who have not, the best of anyone's knowledge, broken any laws. Guns are designed for the express purpose of taking lives, and they are strictly regulated in Japan. The possession and sale of Pseudoephedrine is all but forbidden in Japan because this ingredient found in cold medicines around the world can, in large enough quantities, be used to make methamphetamines. If these things can be regulated, then why not these voyeur-friendly shoe-cams? Regardless, legally unjustifiabe violations of a citizen's right to privacy in an effort to shame them isn't going to stop voyeurism.

Pandabelle,

Citizen's private data is fiercely protected under Japanese law. Please refer to the recent theft and sale of customer data from the education company Benesse. To suggest that the seizure of customer data from the arrested store owner is akin to seizing a client list from a drug dealer suggests that you didn't read the article very closely. The camera shoes in question are not illegal in any sense of the word. The manufacture, possession, and use of these idiotic devices is not illegal. So your drug dealer analogy is way off the mark.

And are you really trying to convince everyone here that you're perfectly okay with the police showing up on your doorstep one day, and saying to you, "Hey, it's come to our knowledge that you recently purchased a OOOO. We would like you to relinquish it to us and sign a release form saying you did so of your own free will, as well as tell us you were planning to use it for something illegal." That's exactly what the Kyoto police did. Are you really trying to get us to believe you wouldn't be put off on some level by this kind of intrusion?

zootmoney,

I wonder if you would have the same sentiments if one of these creeps had been filming up your daughter's or your wife's skirts with the recording sold on to voyeur porn sites for worldwide consumption.

The clincher to your "what if" scenario is whether or not the crime was actually committed. You cannot simply assume a person is going to commit a crime and act on that impulse alone. Pick any socially frowned-upon predilection, be it porn, cross dressing, ultra-right or left wing political affiliation, whatever, and tell me it's okay for the police to procure a list of anyone who might have an interest in all of the above, wander over to their house when they have yet to do anything illegal, and reveal that the police now has their personal information on file, despite having never committed a crime, now knows what their particular cup of tea may be, despite having never committed a crime, and "requests" that they forfeit legally obtained property.

The seller of the shoes handed over the list of customers to the police in the first place.

No, the police seized the data in the raid of the business owner’s shop. It explicitly states that in the article above.

And I don’t even know where to start with the profound naivety it requires to believe that the police visit to these people’s homes amounted to little more than a warm and cuddly friendly chat over a cuppa. And these friendly visits resulted in netting almost all of the shoe cameras this shop sold? No, no intimidation employed by the police to accomplish this. None at all (rolls eyes in utter disbelief).

And really, should people who carry out such a grotesque invasion of another's privacy really have their own privacy protected?

Again, we're talking about people who haven't done anything yet. You seem hell bent on missing the distinction. If and when these people break the law, then the law can come down on them. But until such time, they are still innocent citizens fully deserving of the privacy and due process protections afforded under Japanese law, whether they strike you as "creeps" or not. Do bear in mind that being a "creep" isn't actually illegal.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

zootmoney

wonder if you would have the same sentiments if one of these creeps had been filming up your daughter's or your wife's skirts with the recording sold on to voyeur porn sites for worldwide consumption.

I never said I like the shoe cameras what I did say is that are not illegal by law and more often than not media reports on upskirt photo's usually involve the use of mobile phones and generally not shoe cameras? The Kyoto police have more than overstepped their mark with the illegal seizure of the shop data and then visiting citizens to "request" they give up their legal products.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm torn. There are legal reasons to own shoes like this.

In both Texas and Massachusetts , taking upskirt videos was found to be allowed by each state's Supreme Court if it happens in public. Photography is considered protected speech in the USA. In Texas the anti-perv law was found unconstitutional.

If you don't want to be photographed or video taped, don't go into public places and don't wear clothing that invites the pervs. Wear pants.

OTOH, should my daughters have to change what they wear to avoid this behavior? Personally, I rather they did, but I know telling them NOT to wear revealing clothing won't work at all. I can here is now, "Oh daddy ...."

Perhaps there is a middle ground? I dunno. I do know that as a photographer, taking photos of public places needs to be protected.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nobody has posted a credible (AND legal) reason for owning a pair of these shoes. As such, the possession of said shoes immediately identifies the owner as a sexual predator. I'm sure the police went to the door with something along the lines of, "You can hand over the shoes now and we're done, or we can go the full route and publicly seek a warrant to search your home. It's up to you whether you want your name in the papers regarding the warrant."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zootmoney:

wonder if you would have the same sentiments if one of these creeps had been filming up your daughter's or your wife's skirts with the recording sold on to voyeur porn sites for worldwide consumption.

Weak arguement: Obviously anyone would be outraged that some creep took pictures of their kids/wife/whatever Taking the picture itself is an illegal act, not owning the camera. I wouldn't care what he used to take the pictures, just that he did.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nobody has posted a credible (AND legal) reason for owning a pair of these shoes.

the perfect legal reason is that owning them isn't illegal? In fact there are many spy devices from recording video, photos and audio but if they are not illegal then owning them is in fact legal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm not going to wear my kilt in the streets of Japan any more. Tired of girls peeking to see if the legend is true!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the perfect legal reason is that owning them isn't illegal? In fact there are many spy devices from recording video, photos and audio but if they are not illegal then owning them is in fact legal.

While saying "it's not illegal to own them" is fine, there's no credibility in saying "I spent good money to buy these camera shoes but I never intended to use them." That's what I meant by "credible AND legal". The only CREDIBLE reason for purchase is to use them, and the only CREDIBLE use for them is to look up things without anybody nearby noticing. The only CREDIBLE target for such activity is under the skirts of women. Therefore, the owner of any such pair of shoes would be assumed to be a sexual predator majoring in voyeurism. This would be a case where the owner of the shoes is going to have to work pretty hard to remove the "criminal voyeur" label from his name.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fadamor,

I'm sure the police went to the door with something along the lines of, "You can hand over the shoes now and we're done, or we can go the full route and publicly seek a warrant to search your home. It's up to you whether you want your name in the papers regarding the warrant."

I'm pretty sure that's likely how it went as well. However, it's important to note that their threat of obtaining a warrant would have been a false and illegal one. In short, the police lied and used intimidation in order to achieve an outcome that the law does not provide for. Credibility has absolutely nothing to do with, well, anything here while the manufacture, sale, and possession of these shoes still remains legal.

"I spent good money to buy these camera shoes but I never intended to use them."

What if the person in question amended that by saying, "I never intended to use them for anything illegal." Then what? While you may not agree with it, there are legitimate, credible uses for miniaturized cameras mounted in shoes that aren't illegal, including, but not limited to security, art, scientific inquiry. Yes, farfetched uses to be sure, but not entirely discountable. And certainly not entirely discountable when the owner has yet to commit any crime that they police are aware of. In a situation like this, credibility becomes and entirely subjective and arbitrary concept, particularly when no crimes have been committed and no charges have been filed.

Consider this: What if a person purchases a Nissan Skyline GT-R, with a stated power rating of 276 hp (206 kW), but an actual tested rating closer to; 325 hp (243 kW), allowing it to achieve a top speed of 193 mph (311 km/h)? What if this perfectly legal purchase is then upgraded with another perfectly legal purchase in the form of something called the VR38DETT super response engine, which effectively more than doubles the power output to (588 kW; 789 hp) and allows the car to travel well in excess of 193mph?

Now, you and I know perfectly well that this type of vehicle is built for speed and that it is used to break Japanese traffic safety laws regularly. But it’s not regulated. It’s not outlawed. And we most certainly don’t see the Japanese police raiding Nissan headquarters, arresting Carlos Ghosn for contributing to the creation of a public nuisance, seizing Nissan customer data, and going door-to-door “requesting” that ay citizen who bought a Nissan Skyline GT-R forfeit the car after signing a document declaring that they intended to use the car to drive over the posted speed limit. Do we?

Sound ridiculous? Consider that there isn’t one iota of difference between the Skyline GT-R and these ridiculous camera shoes. Both are entirely legal to manufacture, sell, and purchase. And both also possess capabilities that are almost certainly for the purpose of breaking the law. So, why doesn’t the NPA go after Nissan? Why doesn’t the NPA simply assume that owners of the GT-R are accidents waiting to happen and go after them? I think even a brief consideration of the answer to this reveals the absurdity of harassing car owners for simply possessing a car designed to leave speed limits in the dust, even when there is no evidence of them having ever done so.

Presumption of innocence: It’s probably THE most critical and fundamental cornerstone of modern democratic legal systems. It astounds me how quickly some are willing to offer up their civil rights in a effort to feel more secure. What is it about the shoe camera that makes it less acceptable that cars built to blast down the highway at 300 km/h? Is it the ick factor? Speeding in car = macho, camera-shoes = creepy. Macho wins, creepy loses? Again, “creepy” isn’t an actual legal definition in any modern law book.

I agree that these cameras need to be dealt with, but they need to be dealt with within the scope of the law.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

LFRAgain

use of these idiotic devices is not illegal.

The use of these devices is ABSOLUTELY illegal. It's illegal to film upskirts in Japan.

To suggest that the seizure of customer data from the arrested store owner is akin to seizing a client list from a drug dealer suggests that you didn't read the article very closely.

I read the article closely, and multiple times. This is akin to a vendor selling tools used for breaking and entering such as a lock pick set. If someone is arrested for selling such devices as they are abetting the crimes facilitated by these devices, their customer information (ie - the likely criminals who purchased these devices) is not fair game? This has nothing to do with the Benesse case at all, and you know that, so on't bring that up. This is a customer database of people who bought devices that were marketed for criminal use.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Fadamor:

Nobody has posted a credible (AND legal) reason for owning a pair of these shoes. As such, the possession of said shoes immediately identifies the owner as a sexual predator.

This is a slippery slope here- again I agree with your idea that they're probably immoral and probably bought by a sexual predator BUT:

If a single person exists who bought these shoes for innocent purposes, then we can't say "ALL owners are predators" I know it's a stretch, but what if they were a gag gift? Or perhaps some guy turns a shoe sideways and uses it as a security device at his entrance to record who might be entering his home?

Facts are, all we're doing is assuming the nature of the customers which is NOT acceptable in general and certainly not grounds for police action.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

there are legitimate, credible uses for miniaturized cameras mounted in shoes that aren't illegal

@LFRAgain I agree. The idea that there could be legal uses for these devices might sound absurd, but I would guess that more likely than not at least a few purchasers used them for consensual up-skirt porn, where an individual acts out their voyeuristic fetish/fantasy without breaking any laws. In Japan, up-skirt porn is a big porn sub-genre, much of which is staged (I assume).

The notion of consensual use of these cameras may sound far fetched, but Japan is well known for its countless legal (and yes, weird) erotic outlets for niche fetish role playing, one that comes to mind being the places designed to look like subway cars where customers legally/consensually molest a female passenger.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The use of these devices is ABSOLUTELY illegal. It's illegal to film upskirts in Japan.

No, it is not "absolutely" illegal to use these devices. What is illegal is the use of these devices to take unauthorized photos of people in public. Nothing more, nothing less. The fact that these shoes are not illegal is precisely why the police chose to adopt an underhanded approach towards taking them out of circulation.

This is akin to a vendor selling tools used for breaking and entering such as a lock pick set.

No, it is not akin to your lock pick analogy because the possession of lock picks is strictly prohibited for regular citizens by Japanese law. These camera shoes aren't. Also, do keep in mind that the shop owner wasn't arrested for selling these shoes specifically. He was arrested for "aiding voyeurism" in violation of the Nuisance Prevention Ordinance. Again, at the point of tedium, there's an important legal distinction to be made here. This is in no way the same thing as being arrested for selling illicit goods, like drugs, just as a charge of failure to properly dispose of a body is in no way to be construed as a charge of murder.

This has nothing to do with the Benesse case at all . . .

I only mentioned the Benesse case because you seemed to be implying Japan had a lax attitude towards the confidentiality of customer data. It wasn't brought up to compare and contrast with how the data was acquired by the police in this case.

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We see that the those who feel it's OK to invade a lady's privacy are out in force thumbing us down.

JT, why have thumb down option? If you don't get thumbs up, we can determine, 'Ah, my stance is not populist', if you do get thumbed up. Well, obvious. Think of the energy saved.

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We see that the those who feel it's OK to invade a lady's privacy are out in force thumbing us down.

The police did a great job in taking as many as possible of these shoe cameras off the streets while at the same time sending a warning message to others who have already purchased, or are thinking of purchasing them. They should be commended for their actions. I think those trying to defend the privacy (with all kinds of obtuse reasoning) of the perverts who bought these contraptions are possibly worried about their having own "privacy" violated for some reason or other.

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I think those trying to defend the privacy (with all kinds of obtuse reasoning) of the perverts who bought these contraptions are possibly worried about their having own "privacy" violated for some reason or other.

Ah, the classic, "If you're not with us, then you're with the terrorists" defense. Could there be anything more infantile? I think not.

No one here has supported the existence of these shoe cameras. Everyone here roundly agrees they are obnoxious to say the least. The issue is with how the police have gone about rounding them up. Judging by how easily some here are willing to toss their privacy rights in the trash can for the illusion of safety, let me just say for the record that when -- not if -- it's your privacy rights being trampled upon by the police, I'll still defend those rights, even when you lack the backbone to do so yourself.

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@Zootmoney: Echoing LFRAgain, no one is defending the existance of these shoes. You need to take a step back and think it through: there is a VERY VERY important difference that you have to understand between morality and legality.

Morally, I think we have all said, together, that these shoes are nothing short of disgusting and that yes, VERY likely they would be used by their owners for illegal things, BUT until they do those things they are not offenders as you claim in an earlier post. Simply owning the shoes does not make them criminals. Perverts, yes, but not criminals. Moral and Legal differences

The point we've been trying to make is not a defense of these devices but that the police should have gone through proper legal channels.

This makes us ask many questions:

Can police decide, without legislation, when something legal may be bought/sold/owned? Can police come to my house ask me to relinquish private property? If I refuse am I free of repercussions? Can police act on or punish for crimes that haven't been committed?

Laws are based on our collective morals and, at times, there is a schism. This is a such a case where morally, yes, we should take away these devices. The problem arises in the legality of what happened here and what precedents it may set for the future. THAT is where we are concerned.

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I have read stories on this very site where Jcops have been caught filming up women's skirts among other things,many of them are just as bad as the Pervs if not worse,wonder how many of those cameras will actually be "disposed of".

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