British government backs new law against 'upskirting' photos

The British government is backing a proposed law that would make it a criminal offense to take "upskirting" photos.

Upskirting involves taking a photo or video under someone's clothing without their consent. It has become more common with the spread of smartphones in recent years.

The government said Friday it endorses the proposal ahead of a debate in Parliament.

Justice Minister Lucy Frazer called upskirting "a hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed." She said making upskirting a specific offense would send a clear message that perpetrators will be punished.

In severe cases the new law could impose a two-year prison sentence on offenders.

The practice is already illegal in Scotland.