The co-owner of a South Korean revenge porn site was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday, as women in the East Asian country continue to push back against spy cam and other nonconsensual pornography.
A court in Seoul also ordered the woman, surnamed Song, to pay a fine of $1.26 million, and ordered her to take 80 hours of sexual violence education.
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"It is immeasurable how much harm (the site) had caused on our society. Song worked with her husband and others to operate Soranet and let its members upload pornographic material," the judge said.
Soranet, which was shut down last year, was a popular site for uploading videos and photos taken using hidden and upskirt cameras. Song co-founded the site, along with her husband. According to South Korean media, Song's husband is currently out of the country.
Beginning in mid 2018, tens of thousands of women in South Korea took to the streets to campaign against the spy cam epidemic, under the slogan "My Life is Not Your Porn."
There were 6,470 cases of illegal filming in South Korea in 2017, compared to 2,412 in 2012.
Lee Ji-soo, a computer specialist who helps women scrub the web of images taken without their consent, told CNN her company has seen a big spike in demand since the protests drew attention to the issue.
"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," she said.
Last year, the South Korean government began offering similar services to Lee's company. The Digital Sex Crimes Victim Support Center provides consultation and removal services, and officials said that within the first 50 days of operation it helped 500 victims remove more than 2,200 videos online. It also provides victims legal support to file criminal charges and takedown notices.
The government has also said it will provide $4.5 million in funds to local authorities to increase patrols of toilets and changing rooms to search for spy cameras.
Police in Seoul have also launched a special squad of women inspectors began daily checks of 20,000 public toilets in Seoul, with plans for tens of thousands of private toilets to also be scoured for spy cams.
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