models up in arms over 'X-ray' cameras
can 'see through' clothing and are used by voyeurs who have posted
photos on the Net
STRAITS TIMES TAIWAN BUREAU
TAIPEI - Enraged Taiwanese models are calling for government
action to stop voyeurs from taking pictures in fashion shows with
the use of infrared cameras that expose the models' bodies.
They warn that pictures of even President Chen Shui-bian and
Vice-President Annette Lu might also be posted on the Internet one
day revealing 'everything' under their clothes.
They were indignant after seeing naked pictures of themselves,
even though they were clothed, posted on pornographic and even some
regular Internet sites.
Some celebrities have also cried foul for having been exposed in
'It's outrageous, and we've got to do something to stop it,' said
local fashion model Wu Meng-lun.
'Being professionals, we do not mind exposing some parts of our
bodies in undergarment or swimsuit shows. But it's totally
unacceptable that some people would deliberately use an infrared
camera to take photos of us,' she told The Sunday Times.
Ms Chiang Yin-chi, spokesman for the Unique International Model
Agency, said local models are worried that they might be targeted
the same way.
'The most we can do is disallow cameras and forbid viewers at our
shows from taking pictures,' she said.
'But this is not the effective way to stamp out the act. The use
of such cameras should have been controlled in the first place.
Otherwise, celebrities, including government leaders, would be
Police said it would be difficult to prevent the use of infrared
cameras without any regulation banning them.
Lawyer Sam Hsu, however, said offenders who distributed or posted
the infrared-captured pictures in cyberspace can be hauled to
Ms Wu said the government must introduce a Bill targeting
specifically video and camera voyeurs instead of using an omnibus
ruling to nail them down.
'In Japan and the US, there are laws against video or camera
voyeurs. Why can't we have one here, since such an activity has
already caught on?' she asked.
Sales of infrared devices have jumped 20 per cent in the past six
months, said a camera-shop owner who declined to be named.
The shop owner said Sony created a stir three years ago when it
first marketed infrared cameras.
Unfortunately, most of the buyers were interested in the cameras
for the wrong reasons.
Sony later altered the lighting function of the camera so that it
could not be used in the daytime.
But the shop owner said this function can be restored with a
simple device that costs a mere NT$5,000 (S$250).
Also, by spending NT$1,000 to NT$2,000, one can have filters and
combination lenses installed in the latest Digital 8 camera to get
the see-through effect.
The shop owner said the cameras worked best on dark clothing of
nylon or synthetic fabrics, but not on cotton.
'Putting on cotton underwear or thick clothes is the safest way
for self-protection,' he