Police on hunt for sex video leaker

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Police on hunt for sex video leaker

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Netizens have been titillated by a sex video clip of a female celebrity that was posted online Sunday, which spread quickly across the country through social networking services.

Now, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency is trying to identify who first posted the video after the celebrity filed a complaint on Monday.

Police said yesterday that they were trying to stop the video’s spread but were having trouble because it had already been widely disseminated.

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According to police, the suspect opened up a blog on Sunday and posted nude photos of the celebrity and several scanned documents apparently proving her identity, including a copy of her passport and medical insurance records. Also posted was a nearly three-minute graphic video clip of the celebrity and an unidentified man undressing themselves and engaging in oral sex. The video appeared to be filmed by the man.

The next day, the video began spreading via SNS after netizens read news articles reporting the investigation.

In the blog post, the suspect introduces himself as an acquaintance of the celebrity’s ex-boyfriend, from whom he says he secured the video. The suspect also said his motive was to let the public know about the celebrity’s “true” image.

The celebrity victim currently appears on many television programs.

According to the blog post, the ex-boyfriend was allegedly beaten up on March 29 by gang members hired by the celebrity and her family to demand that he end his relationship with her.

The ex-boyfriend was also said to have been forced to write a letter with his own blood promising to end the relationship and not report the attack. The suspect wrote that the celebrity and her attorney were at the scene and witnessed everything.

On Monday, however, the suspect deleted the video clip and shut down the blog the next day, only to open a Web site based overseas to post another sex video clip. Below the new video, the suspect wrote, “I’ll be happy to appear in court if I get a chance to tell everything about her.”

Police said that the allegations made by the suspect have not been confirmed and that the suspect would be charged with defamation and disseminating pornography.

Efforts to stop the video’s dissemination, police said, have been ineffective because it was out of their control.

“Twitter played a huge part in the diffusion in this case,” an investigator said. “It used to take more than a week or two for something like this to spread nationwide in previous cases, but it only took a few hours this time.”

In 1998 and 2000, sex video clips of an actress and a singer were leaked online, creating public outcry and widespread criticism of the celebrities, who were forced to stop working until criticism subsided.

The video’s spread this week was also accompanied by groundless rumors, ranging from claims that the celebrity had committed suicide to rumors that the leak was intentional to cover up the recent arrests over the cyberattack on the National Election Commission’s Web site.

Twitter users also began posting the celebrity’s personal information, including the names of her family members as well as their contact information, job information and stories about her college life, police said.

“SNS is a convenient tool that enables people to exchange their opinions, but it also produces adverse effects like spreading wrong information too quickly,” Professor Gwak Geum-joo of Seoul National University said.

Professor Park Chang-ho of Soongsil University said, “It’s like a witch hunt. The fast speed of SNS doesn’t allow users to verify information and drives them to focus on digging up victims’ personal information because people don’t want to fall behind or become isolated on a common issue.”


By Kwon Seok-chun, Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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