South Korea Ready to Confront Hidden Camera Crimes Strongly

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A local government employee is searching for hidden cameras in public restrooms using an infrared ray detector [Photo by Kim Sang-seon].

While the sexual crime using hidden cameras is increasingly becoming a serious social problem in Korea, the government passed an amendment to the legislation regarding chemical treatment to oppress sexual impulse. According to the amendment passed on July 18, judges are now allowed to sentence chemical castration against sex offenders who commit crimes using hidden cameras, attempt rape, or commit rape/homicide against minors.

The recent amendment seems to reflect serious social issues caused by increased production and distribution of illegal pornography filmed using hidden “spy” cameras. Such micro-cameras – often disguised as ordinary objects like eyeglasses, water bottles, or screws – are easily accessible online without regulation.

Crimes using secret cameras are not limited to the capturing of images of the private area – in the worst case scenario, revenge porn is shared online without acknowledgment of the person featured in the video.

Currently, pictures of women’s restroom wall are going viral among Korean Twitter users. The initial uploader posted a picture showing a public restroom’s wall with several holes, asking, “Is it true that these holes are not found in men’s restrooms?”

 

Apparently, divisive replies by gender imply high chances that such holes are used to insert micro-cameras to film nudity in public restrooms.

Common worries about being filmed without consent or acknowledgment even resulted in the release of several smartphone applications designed to detect hidden cameras. However, a fundamental solution is vital to stop the anxiety.

 

By Heewon Kim