Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Website secretly livestreamed 1,600 unwitting hotel guests for paying members

Website secretly livestreamed 1,600 unwitting hotel guests for paying members

More than 1,500 hotel guests were secretly filmed with footage of them live-streamed to the internet, according to police in South Korea.

As detailed by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's cyber investigation unit, the minuscule cameras with 1-millimeter lenses were planted within TV media boxes and power sockets among many other spots around the bugged motel rooms. The suspects have been accused of illegally recording and live-streaming the activities of guests at 30 hotels located in 10 South Korean cities.

Notably, this is not the first case of hidden cameras found in hotels or Airbnbs - although the scale of this effort and the paid customer element really drives up the ick factor.

The cameras were wireless and the footage was streamed online on a website. CNN reports that 97 members paid a $44.95 monthly fee to access extra features, such as the ability to replay certain live streams.

According to the BBC, the men arrested posted 803 videos.

As reported by The KoreaTimes, the sales of spy cam detectors has skyrocketed during March 2019 following a scandal involving a South Korean singer who recorded video of his sex partners without their permission and shared them with friends.

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Police said there was no evidence the businesses knew about the breaches of privacy.

South Korea has a serious problem with spy cameras and illicit filming. The perpetrators, if convicted, could face up to five years in prison and fines amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

Police said it did not appear that the hotels were involved.

Back in 2018, thousands of women protested against the raging illegal filming issue in South Korea, raising slogans like "My Life is Not Your Porn", to demand action from the authorities.

The authorities in Seoul have launched initiatives like a special squad of women inspectors who conduct regular inspections of public washrooms across the city.

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