Founders of Korea’s largest porn site identified

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

Founders of Korea’s largest porn site identified

The founders of Korea’s largest pornographic site, Sora.net, have been identified, police announced on Monday.

The founders of the site have been identified as a Seoul National University graduate and his wife, although police suspect there are three more administrators.

Soranet was established in 1999 and, while banned in Korea, it has since led to petition campaigns calling for its eradication. In addition to conventional pornography, some of the materials posted on the site include secretly filmed videos of women’s shower rooms and revenge porn (sex tapes released to damage the reputation of ex-lovers).

The site exceeded 1 million registered members in 2010 and made over 10 billion won ($8.5 million) in total profit.

According to Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cybercrime investigation unit on Monday, the identities of the site’s administrators are unknown. Administrators used false names like Terry Park and Kay Song and servers were located in the United States and Europe, where pornographic sites are not illegal.

Soranet’s founders used advertising revenue earned by the website in order to elude police by constantly moving from country to country, even going so far as to purchase permanent residency in the countries to which they moved. Their elusiveness earned the site the nickname “Impregnable Fortress.”

Then in April police sighted the founders in an airport in Southeastern Asia, but the agents could not take them into custody because they cannot arrest the permanent residents of another nation with a warrant issued in Korea.

“Once we knew where they were,” a police official explained, “we narrowed down the scope of our search.”

The officer added, “They had permanent residency status in Australia and a few Southeast Asian countries and they tried but failed to get permanent residency in the United States and the Netherland, where we conducted cooperative investigations with local police.”

Police finally shut Soranet down in April and the founders officially announced the closing of their site through their Twitter account on June 6.

Police officials, while stressing the importance of fluid cooperation with foreign investigators, are working on the extradition process.
“Given their past,” said one officer, “they may try to move to another country again so we’re putting them under close watch.”


By Son Gook-hee [jeong.byungki@joongang.co.kr]

More in Social Affairs

Prosecutors question Yoon over 'comfort women' scandal

Exercising sovereignty

New virus cases hit 56, highest number in 41 days

Regaining Korean citizenship

Fishing village suffers after North-operated dam abruptly releases floodwaters

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now