Image: AP

According to a new report from CNN, nearly 1,600 motel guests have been secretly filmed “across 42 rooms in 30 accommodations in 10 cities,” in South Korea. Police discovered Wednesday that the footage was live-streamed for paying costumers to view (for a monthly fee of $44.95), and, through their investigation, stated that it doesn’t appear that any of the lodging facilities colluded with the criminals who placed tiny cameras inside of “digital TV boxes, wall sockets and hairdryer holders.”

Korean police stated:

“There was a similar case in the past where illegal cameras were (secretly installed) and were consistently and secretly watched, but this is the first time the police caught where videos were broadcast live on the internet.”

Digital sex crimes, and most specifically, filming people, especially women, without their consent is such a prevalent issue in South Korea that there’s a word for it: molka. In Seoul alone, 6,465 cases of “spy cameras” were reported in 2017—5,437 of the accused were taken into custody, but only 119 were indicted, according to the BCC. The issue is currently dominating headlines in and outside of Korea because last week K-Pop singer-songwriter and T.V. celebrity Jung Joon Young admitted to filming women in sexual situations without their consent and proliferating those videos to others, crimes that came to light during a separate sex crime probe into BIGBANG’s Seungri. Young was arrested Thursday morning.

Lee Ji-soo, a computer specialist who helps women remove explicit images of themselves from the web, told CNN:

“The most common things that the clients are saying—and they are quite heartbreaking—are ‘I want to die’ or ‘I cannot leave my house.’ Especially the victims of spy cam or illegally taken videos say that when they encounter people on the street, they feel like they would be recognized.”

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According to CNN, in Seoul, a “special squad” of women have been tasked with inspecting 20,000 public toilets for spy cams in response to the ongoing issue—but it shouldn’t really be their responsibility to correct what is so clearly a larger issue--one that is undoubtedly growing.