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Bill would restrict use of hidden cameras 02/22/99 NEVADA--Senate Bill No. 34, a proposal to prohibit the use of hidden…

Bill would restrict use of hidden cameras

02/22/99

NEVADA–Senate Bill No. 34, a proposal to prohibit the use of hidden cameras under certain circumstances such as filming people in private moments, is being criticized by media representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee for being too broad.

Sen. Bernice Mathews (D-Reno), the author of the bill, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she wrote the proposed measure after several of her constituents complained to her about being secretly videotaped for a television program.

The bill would make filming or videotaping a person using a device that is purposely hidden or disguised a misdemeanor. Senate Judiciary Chairman Mark James (R-Las Vegas) said, “The idea is to get at paparazzi and anyone else who spies with a still or video camera on others without justification.”

Kent Lauer of the Nevada Press Association said that the bill was too broad and does not make any distinction between videotaping done in public and private places. He argued that the law could restrict video scans of football game crowds.

Senate Judiciary Committee member Terry Care (D-Las Vegas), a former television news director, agreed, saying that he could not imagine TV crews seeking advance approval from authorities in the course of pursuing a legitimate news story.

Mathews said that she is willing to amend the bill, but said that it was not intended to inhibit the press from gathering news. (S.B. 34)