Monday, June 18, 2012

Wildlife camera catches Austrian politician having sex in forest

An Austrian politician has been caught with his pants down by a hidden camera in a forest. The incident has led to local activists debating privacy violation and data protection after the man got snapped while having sex in the forest. ­The camera was of a type that takes automatic pictures when movement is detected. It belongs to the Carinthia Hunting Society and had been concealed in order to monitor wildlife in the forest in the Austrian region of Carinthia.

The equipment is installed in areas considered hunting zones and it is forbidden to walk within the 400-metere radius of land which is monitored, according to the society’s lawyer. The politician, who has not been named, had no clue that there was “a third party” hidden in the undergrowth as the camera was not marked and there were no warning signs. He may now get up to $25,000 in compensation for a breach of his privacy.

Fortunately for him the pictures have never been leaked on the Internet nor has the footage been released in the Austrian province of Carinthia. However, the case has sparked heated debates among local activists. Advocates of data protection are calling for the regulation and demarcation of wildlife cameras, which do not need to be signposted or marked. They insist the automatic cameras pose a threat to individuals' privacy rights.

Hans Zeger, president of Argen Daten, an NGO specializing in data protection, said that official permission was needed to place the camera and "at the very least is should have been marked with signs so visitors could adjust their behaviour and avoid the monitored areas." At the same time the Carinthia Hunting Society, which set up the camera, defended the use of the monitoring equipment saying that they have never had such a problem. The woodland surveillance hadn't posed an issue to date, the organization said. The mystery politician stands to receive up to $25,000 in compensation if the court rules the photographs violated his privacy.

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