Comment: The spy cam epidemic causing protests and tougher laws in South Korea

South Korea is in the grips of war against ever-changing technology in sexual harassment cases.

Picture this. In the midst of this hot summer, you head to the changing rooms to get ready for a dip in the pool for a refreshing swim.

Hidden in the corners of the room you find a camera, hauntingly watching your every move at your most vulnerable time as you undress.

It’s been put there deliberately to capture you and others undressing or to get other inappropriate material, such as up-skirting.

This is the worrying trend that is becoming more and more common in South Korea.

As the country becomes more technologically advanced, cases of digital sex crimes have grown much higher than in the United States and Sweden.

This is because South Korea has the fastest and most accessible internet in the world, but that leads to more discreet methods of filming.

Protests in the country’s capital Seoul have taken place to fight this growing problem.

Women wearing red as a symbol of their anger held up signs, saying “my life is not your porn”, outraged by the non-consensual breach of their privacy by anonymous figures behind computer screens.

The protest demanded punishment for men who watch them and those who film them.

And President Moon Jae-In agrees as he said in May the problem had become a “daily part of life”.

He highlighted the issue as one that needed tougher punishment for those who commit the highly-perverted crimes.

To tackle the problem, police officials have undertaken new initiatives to search the internet for illicitly recorded videos.

And recently in Seoul, police stood at the entrance of a public pool to hand out small, red stickers that placed a circle around a phone’s camera lens to raise awareness about illicit filming as a serious crime.

This is done as, disgustingly, the word “spy cam” has playful connotations to the phrase “molka”, a reference from a popular 1990s TV show featuring hidden-camera pranks.

It shows how devastatingly trivial this perverted crime may seem to some.

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