President Moon urges 'special' measures to curb secret cameras

Lim Chang-won  Reporter Posted : 2017-08-08 14:13 Updated : 2017-08-08 14:13
글씨작게 글씨크게

A national park employeesearches for a hidden camera inside a public bathroom using a special monitoring device. [Yonhap Photo]

With an emphatic tone, President Moon Jae-in called for "special" measures to curb sex crimes taking furtive pictures with secret or hidden cameras targeting young women at company bathrooms, public restrooms and other private places.

Secret cameras used to take candid shots of women have been a social issue, although violators can be sentenced to or a maximum jail term of five years. Numerous cases have been reported. In November last year, four male swimmers were indicted for installing hidden cameras in the dressing rooms of swimming pools.

At a cabinet meeting Tuesday, Moon urged law enforcement authorities to respond "promptly" to sex crimes using hidden cameras that have caused "great damage" to the victims due to the fast online distribution of related pictures.

"Anxiety is growing among women because anyone can become a victim of secret cameras in everyday life such as company bathrooms and dress rooms as well as public restrooms and transportation," Moon said, according to a presidential pool report.

"It's necessary to strengthen punishment for secretly camera crimes and to take special measures for the protection of victims," said Moon, who has vowed to build a safe society for women, portraying himself as a "feminist president".

The president called for a crackdown on the websites accused of spreading secret camera pictures, suggesting artificial intelligence (AI) technology capable of detecting and blocking pornographic material in real time could be used.

In July, the cabinet endorsed a revised law to toughen penalties for sex crimes so that sex offenders using hidden cameras can be subject to forced chemical castration. Prosecutors think chemical castration is an effective tool to reduce sex crimes while rights activists oppose it as inhuman treatment.