The hyper-wired country has been battling the increasing proliferation of "molka" or spycam videos , which largely involve men secretly filming women in schools and toilets, among other places. South Korea's globalised pop music industry is also reeling from a scandal over singer and television celebrity Jung Joon-young , who is accused of sharing videos he took secretly during sex. According to the police, four men posed as customers to secretly install the tiny cameras - all of them obtained online from overseas and with a lens just 1mm wide - in 42 rooms in 30 motels, hidden inside hairdryer holders, wall sockets and digital TV boxes. They then live-streamed the footage 24 hours a day to a subscription website with some 4, members, hosted on a server overseas. More than couples were shown on the site over three months, mostly having sex, said the police. The gang earned 7 million won from the scheme, the police said, adding that two suspects have been arrested so far. Two more are being investigated. More than 5, people were arrested for spycam-related crimes in South Korea in , but fewer than 2 per cent were jailed. Last year, tens of thousands of women took to the streets of South Korea's capital to protest against the practice and other forms of sexual violence, and demanded stricter punishment.
Footage of over 800 couples in motels live-streamed; 2 arrested
As digital sex crimes rise worldwide, South Korea has become the global epicenter of spy-cam — the use of tiny, hidden cameras to film victims naked, urinating or midsex. Before Lee died, her father said she had taken to drink and antidepressants after police caught the man filming illicitly in a supermarket, only to discover his stash of secret footage, her naked body among the many women he had previously filmed. Under the law, he could face up to five years in jail. The problem is especially acute in tech-savvy South Korea, where thousands of women have taken to the streets in protest. Official figures showed there were about 6, cases of the so-called spy-cam porn in and about 6, the year before. Culprits typically film in public places, changing rooms or toilets, or in hotels, then sell the footage to porn sites. A South Korean porn website that attracted more than a million users and hosted thousands of spy-cam videos thrived for years until it was shut down in after activist complaints. The government has introduced a slew of countermeasures: longer jail terms, daily checks in public toilets and a task force to help victims kill off the unwanted online videos. The suicide of K-pop star Goo Hara in November sparked nationwide debate about the health impact on women, whatever their status, from these new and extreme invasions of privacy.
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Now, the team consists of 39 trained women and men who regularly inspect places vulnerable to illegal filming, such as public restrooms, subway stations and changing rooms. Plus, the anonymity in cyberspace makes the punishment extremely difficult. In , a male victim reported to the center that he found a sex tape of himself with his girlfriend on a porn website. It turned out that the footage was taken from a hidden camera installed in a motel room unbeknownst to them. More than 6, crimes related to illegal filming were reported in , a five-fold increase since , according to the Korean National Police Agency. Even female celebrities have fallen victim to illegal filming. In September a television crew member was caught installing a hidden camera in the shape of a portable smartphone battery charger inside their private rooms, according to Seoul Gangnam police. Son Hae-young, a spy cam detection expert, told ABC News that a number of hidden cameras are disguised as everyday objects -- remote controls, computer mice, wristwatches, coat hooks -- to not arouse suspicion. Women as well as companies and government agencies have been combating the hidden camera phenomenon through a number of measures. Sales of spy cam detectors also skyrocketed following a series of digital sex crimes involving hidden cameras.
These are external links and will open in a new window. Four men have been arrested in South Korea, accused of secretly filming 1, hotel room guests and selling the footage via a website. Mini-cameras were installed in TVs, hair-dryer holders and sockets. The covert filming of sex and nudity in South Korea has been described as an epidemic and has sparked protests. Speaking to the BBC, Korean police said the men set up the 1mm lens cameras last August in 30 separate hotels across 10 South Korean cities. In November, a website was then created, allowing users to pay for full videos or watch second clips for free. Police said the men earned money from 97 paying members before the site was taken down this month.