Since being investigated for secretly filming sexually explicit videos of women and illegally distributing them in a group chat with seven other men including former BigBang member Seungri and former FT Island member Choi Jong-hoon, singer Jung Joon-young was finally arrested on Thursday and taken into custody.
“I am really sorry,” said Jung. “I made a big and inexcusable crime, and I admit my guilt. I deeply apologize to the women who have suffered because of me. I will live repenting for my sins for the rest of my life.”
The victims of Jung allegedly begged the reporter responsible for breaking the story for their lives, not knowing what to do and where to go.
Since Choi Jong-hoon’s text messages to the same group chat revealed he had bribed a police officer after he got pulled over for driving under the influence, his company FNC Entertainment has cancelled his contract and the singer was booked for attempting to bribe an officer.
“The [handcuffs] were very painful,” Choi sent to the chat. “Anyone who hasn’t worn them before shouldn’t talk. Before he put them on, I offered him 10 million Won (~$8,850 USD).”
The public is still left with many questions though: Are these stars actually regretful of what they did, or regretful that they got caught? Will the arrest of Jung and the public outcry against the five idols set a precedent that this is not acceptable? Will men learn that this is not okay? South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in has even called for a deep, sincere investigation into the sex scandal rocking the country, and the world.
Now police are looking into the hidden camera problem plaguing the country, and targeting innocent women.
The War against “molka”
“My life is not your porn.”
Last year, ten of thousands of women began protesting on the streets on Seoul over the growing issue of “molka,” or hidden camera porn, tormenting victims across the country. “Their protests have been the largest recorded women’s rallies in South Korean history, and the government is taking notice,” said Haeryun Kang of Korea Expose՝.
Images and videos of ordinary women are being uploaded to porn sites and spread around the internet constantly, and these women are objectified and dehumanized online by complete strangers.
“And that’s what makes women afraid,” Chang Dahye told Korea Expose՝. “You can be a victim without even knowing.”
It was recently reported that over 1,600 people had been secretly filmed in their motel rooms, some even live-streamed, by a South Korean website with over 4,000 members. It took place in 42 rooms in 30 accommodations spanning across 10 different cities. Since November 2018, the site has made over $6,000 at the expense of unknowing women, some members even paying up to $44.95 a month. So far, two people have been arrested in connection to the site.
A shocking 6,400 cases regarding illegal filming or “molka” were reported to South Korean police in 2017, but only 2,400 in 2012. And these are only the cases that were actually discovered, and weren’t rejected.
This is a problem in other countries as well, like in Airbnb rooms for example. Buzzfeed just reported a little over a year ago about guests discovering hidden cameras in their rooms. Voyeurism definitely is not a new problem, but the problem is growing larger. It’s sad that women now need to research ways to check their rooms and other meant-to-be-private places, like toilets, for hidden cameras.
Just in January, the co-owner of the revenge porn site Soranet, which was popular for videos taken using upskirt cameras and other spy cam footage, was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison. Kang says that in some cases, the original uploaders on this site were these women’s husbands and boyfriends, asking others to rate the partner’s genitals.
Many believe these sentences ranging from 3-7 years are simply not harsh enough.
Companies who help women take down their photos and videos from these sites are sadly seeing a surge in business, with women fearful of being recognized on the street, according to CNN.
Seoul has responded with a female inspection squad searching the city’s about 20,000 public toilets for hidden cameras. They say they’re going to be inspecting them daily. It’s a step towards the right direction, but the problem needs to be prevented before it happens, not after-the-fact.
“Many victims find it hard to continue their normal social activities,” Chang said. “They feel daunted and frightened by the thought that they could be recognized. I have seen cases where the women quit their jobs or consider getting plastic surgery. In extreme cases the women change their names, move somewhere else, even commit suicide.”
“If you look at the case from the victim’s point of view, victimhood doesn’t end. Spy cam footage remains forever and gets continually watched. And this continuous damage is a serious problem.”
Right now there are no laws or policies preventing hidden camera footage from being taken and spread online if it doesn’t constitute as actual “pornography.” If a person had their photo or video taken but there was no obscenity or nudity that can “induce sexual desire or humiliation” then there’s nothing that can be done, and these cases are usually rejected by police.
It’s clear that the laws regarding molka need to be changed in order to protect the victims, whose rights and privacy are being violated without their consent or knowledge, and in some cases, their lives ruined.