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Congress Intros Bill to Force Cell Camera Sounds

By David Murphy, PC World
January 26, 2009 08:00 PM ET

PC World - No, we're not joking. The Camera Phone Predator Alert Act (H.R. 414) is the real deal. Fresh off the legislative desk of New York Representative Peter King (R), the bill--currently cosponsored by goose egg--would require an audible tone to accompany all cellular phones with an installed camera that are created in the U.S. This tone, likely a clicking noise of some sort, would sound, "within a reasonable radius of the phone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera in such phone." And don't think that evildoers would be able to conceal their predatory ways by flicking an iPhone-style audio toggle switch. Any mobile phones built after the bill becomes a law would be prohibited from including any way to eliminate or reduce the volume of said noise.

And the reasoning for this legislation? But a single sentence: "Congress finds that children and adolescents have been exploited by photographs taken in dressing rooms and public places with the use of a camera phone."

While this bill might very well age into irrelevance within the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, it's not as far-fetched as it might sound. Camera phones in Japan already have features like this enabled by law: A rude awakening to new phone owners that would like a way to turn off--or turn down--shutter noises that have had their volumes jacked up for this reason specifically.

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