Hidden Camera Detector Squads Fight Back Against Illegal Recording in South Korea

Hidden Camera Detector Squads Fight Back Against Illegal Recording in South Korea

It's no surprise that as hidden cameras rise in prevalence, bad actors will use them to invade people's privacy. Now, in South Korea, groups of women are fighting back.

In South Korea's capital of Seoul, cases of secretly filmed video, locally known as Molka, have risen from 990 cases in 2012 to 3,658 in 2015. The issue has become so pervasive that it's led some to wonder if South Korea has a problem.

Regardless of how widespread illicit filming actually is, the mere presence of Molka within Korean society has contributed to a sense of discomfort among many women. One 29-year-old woman told the BBC that using public restrooms now comes with a sense of unease because of clandestine filming. It's also often not unusual to see women holding handbags behind their backs as they climb stairs to block potential recording devices.

As a result of this rising unease, groups of women have banded together to scan public restrooms and other spaces with the hopes of uncovering hidden cameras. There are currently 25 hidden camera hunting teams operating in Seoul.

"Almost all victims are women in spy cam crimes, and for the victims there is emotional damage," said Hee Nam Myung, a member of one of the hidden camera detector squads.

Between August and September the task forces, armed with special bug sweeping devices and hidden camera detectors, scanned more than 9,500 locations across the city.

While the squads have yet to uncover a hidden camera, their scanning efforts, coupled with informational leaflets about Molka, have not gone unnoticed.

"I was sceptical [sic] on how much change we would see by working as a part of the hidden camera-hunting squad. But, when I see the reaction from people, I think it is worthwhile," Hee said.

(h/t The Straits Times. Photo via AFP)

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