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NextDoor and HOAs..can they?

I always chuckle at people claiming they are victims of peering Toms. Those folks should stand in front of a mirror and take a good, honest look at themselves. Nobody's really interested in peeping at that.

Good point. Technically, the crime of voyeurism requires proof that the act of observation or recording was done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying desires. It takes special kind of circumstantial evidence to prove that kind of criminal intent.

Here is WA state voyeurism law. Key terms and phrases are bolded. Most states in US probably have same or similar requirement to prove salacious intent. Of course, there can be an invasion of privacy without proof of voyeuristic intent. But typically that would be classified as a civil not criminal matter.

RCW 9A.44.115
Voyeurism.


(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Intimate areas" means any portion of a person's body or undergarments that is covered by clothing and intended to be protected from public view;

(b) "Photographs" or "films" means the making of a photograph, motion picture film, videotape, digital image, or any other recording or transmission of the image of a person;

(c) "Place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" means:

(i) A place where a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that his or her undressing was being photographed or filmed by another; or

(ii) A place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance;

(d) "Surveillance" means secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person;

(e) "Views" means the intentional looking upon of another person for more than a brief period of time, in other than a casual or cursory manner, with the unaided eye or with a device designed or intended to improve visual acuity.

(2)(a) A person commits the crime of voyeurism in the first degree if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, or films:

(i) Another person without that person's knowledge and consent while the person being viewed, photographed, or filmed is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

(ii) The intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and consent and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.


(b) Voyeurism in the first degree is a class C felony.

(3)(a) A person commits the crime of voyeurism in the second degree if he or she intentionally photographs or films another person for the purpose of photographing or filming the intimate areas of that person with the intent to distribute or disseminate the photograph or film, without that person's knowledge and consent, and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.

(b) Voyeurism in the second degree is a gross misdemeanor.

(c) Voyeurism in the second degree is not a sex offense for the purposes of sentencing or sex offender registration requirements under this chapter.

(4) This section does not apply to viewing, photographing, or filming by personnel of the department of corrections or of a local jail or correctional facility for security purposes or during investigation of alleged misconduct by a person in the custody of the department of corrections or the local jail or correctional facility.

(5) If a person is convicted of a violation of this section, the court may order the destruction of any photograph, motion picture film, digital image, videotape, or any other recording of an image that was made by the person in violation of this section.
 
One historical note of interest. The WA voyeurism law was amended several years ago on emergency basis when the state supreme court threw out the convictions of two people who shot up the skirt videos of women who were walking in public places. The original law said:

A person commits the crime of voyeurism in the first degree if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, or films:

Another person without that person's knowledge and consent while the person being viewed, photographed, or filmed is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.


The emergency amendment added an "or" to include intimate areas of the body even "in public:"

The intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and consent and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.

The legislature had to close the loophole which permitted certain photography of people even if they were in a public place where there is ordinarily no reasonable expectation of privacy.
 
One historical note of interest. The WA voyeurism law was amended several years ago on emergency basis when the state supreme court threw out the convictions of two people who shot up the skirt videos of women who were walking in public places. The original law said:

A person commits the crime of voyeurism in the first degree if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, or films:

Another person without that person's knowledge and consent while the person being viewed, photographed, or filmed is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.


The emergency amendment added an "or" to include intimate areas of the body even "in public:"

The intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and consent and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.

The legislature had to close the loophole which permitted certain photography of people even if they were in a public place where there is ordinarily no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Maybe my smartphone should quit watching me.

Since we won't be able to prove voyeurism without somehow obtaining any of the evidence of such claims, it just makes it all that more convenient that we push these drone regulations past most people who don't understand the implications. Even looking back at my flight records, I'm not sure I can tell what I was doing. It's only part of the picture.
 
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Ask the government and they say well that's private property we can't do whatever it is.
So why do I see police cruisers sitting on private property with their speed radar gun, and not really sure which speed reading goes to which car and then proceed to give out green stamps? Since they are doing that commercially, and not recreationally, they should have to show their part 107 traffic ticket giving license. And whether their cruiser and speed gun have been registered for only $5. Shouldn't they be trying to sit in the middle of the road where they have that public/government owned thing going on and blocking traffic at the same time?
Ha ! Good one.
 
First thought is, I'd never trust ANYTHING posted on NextDoor. It's like the National Enquirer on steroids.
Way too many drama queens and yet another place for people to create false scenarios for the "likes" and supportive comments.
I swear people have become addicted to this nonsense.
My wife is a NextDoor moderator and they have to deal with these false reports all the time and caution the posters.
We *constantly* have women posting about someone acting suspiciously then they get in their car and follow giving a blow by blow of supposed events. Most of the folks that post stuff like what the OP posted might be based on a truth, but with a few made-up items to add a bit of drama. Like a drone did fly over. Maybe even paused. But peeking in windows?
 
My first thought too - how on earth could they have any idea the drone was "Recording..."?
Well, in all fairness some have the light blink to indicate recording.
I haven't looked since flying my Mavic Pro at night but I suspect others have the same.
Now - whether that could be discerned by muggles or just the normal nav lights is another story.
 
Well, in all fairness some have the light blink to indicate recording.
I haven't looked since flying my Mavic Pro at night but I suspect others have the same.
Now - whether that could be discerned by muggles or just the normal nav lights is another story.
The lights on the Mavic pro go off selectively or while recording. The mini only has a tail light. Don't think unless you know which one it is or how it operates that you have much to go on. If you can identify it from a distance. And most are symmetrical that you can't really tell which way it is pointing.
 
I think this post is a load of bs .... how could they tell the drone was 'recording'? Just a drone hater in action ...
I just as an experiment flew one of my drones to outside of my bedroom window just to see if indeed the interior of my bedroom was visible but all I could see was the reflection of the houses opposite and my drone hovering , so I cannot understand how drone pilots hovering outside of windows can see anything untoward. Another thing that amazed me is how a person stood watching a drone flying/hovering can tell that’s its recording, wish I could, at my age I sometimes forget to press the record button. Cheers Len
 
Another thing that amazed me is how a person stood watching a drone flying/hovering can tell that’s its recording,
Most wouldn’t even know if the camera was pointed their way, or 180 degrees checking the sunset.
So yeah the whole deal there is really embellished by the NextDoor poster.
 
I question the “peeping” aspect of the posters claim. While it could be true, in all likelihood it could have been a real estate operation capturing a neighboring house. If the drone was hovering just above their second story roof, it would be at about 50’. Not exactly a position/height to get good “pervy” look at at you. And the poster has no way of knowing if the drone was recording (as claimed).

People are so quick to think the worst, especially in a community that breeds so much discontent towards drone operation.
Very true. NextDoor in particular is full of Ken/Karen type people that make a passionate art out of complaining about anything they find not to their liking. None of them seem to be legal professionals. Few of them seem to be in a position of authority and those that are do not waste time nitpicking. I got on the app for the sole purpose of defending a drone pilot (it wasn't mine based on the time of the sighting) after a threat to bring drones down via electronic jamming was blasted out. The thread devolved into a discussion about this peeping tom activity (in a community 12 miles away) which I expressed no professional pilot I'm aware of would engage in such activity as it would be unethical.....and left it at that. Yes it is illegal to shoot down a drone but that wouldn't stop someone from giving it a try (I'm in Texas). Insurance is still a good measure because you just can't fix stupidity. Fly safe.
 
Very true. NextDoor in particular is full of Ken/Karen type people that make a passionate art out of complaining about anything they find not to their liking. None of them seem to be legal professionals. Few of them seem to be in a position of authority and those that are do not waste time nitpicking. I got on the app for the sole purpose of defending a drone pilot (it wasn't mine based on the time of the sighting) after a threat to bring drones down via electronic jamming was blasted out. The thread devolved into a discussion about this peeping tom activity (in a community 12 miles away) which I expressed no professional pilot I'm aware of would engage in such activity as it would be unethical.....and left it at that. Yes it is illegal to shoot down a drone but that wouldn't stop someone from giving it a try (I'm in Texas). Insurance is still a good measure because you just can't fix stupidity. Fly safe.
Not only that but apparently the faa hasn't taken on any cases of drones being shot down.
 
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