1,600 South Korean Hotel Guests Secretly Recorded, Live-Streamed

The Associated Press
Ryan Nakashima/AP
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

About 1,600 hotel guests in South Korea were secretly recorded, with the footage of their every move live-streamed online to paying customers, police said Wednesday.

Police have arrested two men and are investigating two other men linked to the scandal, which took place in 30 different hotels located in ten South Korean cities.

Investigators believe the hotels did not take part in the scheme.

The recording devices— which were hidden inside digital TV boxes, hairdryer holsters, and other wall sockets— streamed the footage to an online platform available to more than 4,000 paying customers, the Cyber Investigation Department at the National Police Agency said in a statement.

The site charged a pretty penny for those who wanted to view these live-streams, with 97 customers paying up to $44.95 a month to have the ability to replay the footage.

Police said the site profited off these subscribers, raking in more than $6,000 between November 2018 and March 2019.

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

Illegal spy cameras have posed a problem for South Korean authorities, who have reported more than 6,400 instances of illegal filming in 2017 alone.

The hotel spy camera case comes not too long after several K-Pop stars stepped down from show biz after admitting to filming and distributing illegal videos of a sexual nature without consent or watching those videos.

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