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PF Lens - See Through Clothing Camera Warning

Summary:
Email forward warns that unscrupulous photographers are using specialized camera lenses to capture images of women's bodies through their clothing and posting the resulting "nude" pictures on websites (Full commentary below).



Status:
Plausible, but threat is probably exaggerated

Example:(Submitted, January 2006)
Subject: Fw: PF See Thru Len

This email is to be circulated for all girls and ladies - MUST READ!!!

Hi lady friends,

The next time when you see someone (stranger) using a Digital Video Cam or Digital Camera pointing at you, don't think you are pretty and gorgeous.

You are in danger in fact!! You might land yourself as a "starring" or "porn actress" in the XXX web-sites showing your naked body all over the world unawared. There are many pervert people doing this currently.

Don't think they are just tourists or reporters. Please be awakened and alert when you are doing shopping in Big Malls, Airports, LRT Stations, Cinemas, Beaches, Hotels so forth.......!!!!

Nowadays, technology in using high-tech cameras fixed with a type of lens called PF LENS, which can see through clothings. The PF LENS is able to see through most types of clothes, for example, thin clothes, tight clothes, sun dresses, swimsuits and so forth. Be awared that this means that the person taking a snap on you can actually see your naked body both "upper & underpart" through the external garment. In other words, the PF Lens allows the camera man to "see through" someone's clothes.

Suggest that whenever you suspect some strangers holding a camera or Digicam pointing at you, try to avoid facing him (face to face). Quickly use your handbag or any shopping bags in hand to cover your whole front body (in case), Next, escape from the scene as soon as possible. This is to save a situation from landing yourself into the hands of evil. Recently, many girls and housewives' naked photo were vastly distributed in the internet websites without them knowing. Perverts intentionally move around places where ladies usually frequent and took their nude shots.

Imagine, one day your male friend come to you and tell you, he saw your naked pose in the web, how are you to face the situation????? Please take this as something very important and don't take this lightly in order to save a shameful and distress situation.....!!!!!!

Finally, If you are concern with many of your good lady friends, please make an effort to forward this message to them so that they are also saved from being victims of those perverts preying around them unawared...!!!




Commentary:
At first blush, this rather breathless warning sounds like a classic leg-pull. However, cameras with lenses that can "see through" clothing do in fact exist. PF or "pass filters" are real lens and they could indeed be used to take compromising photographs of people without their knowledge in some circumstances. Even several years ago, voyeurs apparently adapted the low light functionality in some cameras to capture clandestine "see through" images. A 2001 news report previously available on cooltech.iafrica.com noted that:
Voyeurism is reaching new heights as voyeurs get smarter, and the latest tool helping them is a simple Sony nightvision camera, with a few modifications, of course. When used during the day, with a special filter attached, the cameras are able to see through clothing and reveal people as they were not intended to be revealed.
More recent reports indicate that a low light add-on intended for mobile phone cameras can also be misused to take compromising photographs:
When attached to a high-end camera, the device can give the effect of seeing through some garments - it depends on how easily infrared can penetrate the fabric in question - and is reportedly particularly effective on dark bikinis.
While technically possible under certain conditions, I have so far found no evidence to suggest that the invasive practice described in this rather alarmist email is as common as implied. Although such tactics are possible, I feel that the email exaggerates the potential threat. Even with the specialist lenses, I doubt that capturing a usable "nude" image would be as simple as taking random snapshots of passers-by. For shots to be "effective" potential victims would most probably need to be already wearing sheer or skimpy attire and be more or less posing for the camera. However, given the very rapid developments in technology that characterizes our times, more effective "see through" cameras may be just around the corner.

Certainly, you should be quite wary of camera wielding strangers who seem intent on taking more than casual snapshots of your person. And of course, the unscrupulous or the perverted can misuse cameras that do not even have specialist "see through" capabilities. Mobile phone and digital cameras are becoming ubiquitous and have already been used to capture indecent images in change rooms and children's playgrounds.

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References:
R Pass Filters Experiment
Peeping Tom filter lets phones see through bikinis
Advanced Intelligence COLOR X-RAY VISION
Introduction to the see through technology
New thermal cameras show the world in infrared


Last updated: 2nd December 2009
First published: January 2006

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen