1,600 motel guests secretly filmed, livestreamed on website


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Seoul police said they booked four people and arrested two for installing tiny spy cams in power outlets, TVs, hairdryer holders, and other places at 30 motels across 10 Korean cities. Measuring just 1mm, the lenses were difficult to spot, and some may have assumed they were part of a device. There was no evidence that the motels were involved in the crimes.

Filming took place between November 24, 2018, and March 2 of this year. Footage of the unsuspecting guests was livestreamed to a website, which hasn’t been named. It had over 4000 members, 97 of whom paid a $44.95 monthly fee to access extra features, including being able to replay the streams, reports CNN. The clips brought in over $6,200 for those running the site.

The perpetrators face up to five years in jail and a penalty of 30 million won. “The police agency strictly deals with criminals who post and share illegal videos as they severely harm human dignity,” said an official of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cyber investigation unit, via the Korean Herald.

“There was a similar case in the past where illegal cameras were installed in (hotels) and were consistently and secretly watched, but this is the first time the police caught where videos were broadcast live on the internet,” the National Police Agency said.

Secretly filming people is a growing problem in South Korea. There were more than 6,400 cases reported to police in 2017, up from around 2,400 five years’ earlier. But just 2 percent of those responsible were sent to jail.

The incidents led to thousands of women protesting the practice on the streets of Seoul last year. They demanded tougher action against such filming, using the slogan “My Life is Not Your Porn.”

Image credit: gmstockstudio

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Is there some aspect of their culture that makes this a particularly South Korean problem?