Police to consider disclosing identities of online sexual abuse material buyers

General

SEOUL-- Police will consider disclosing the identities of not only distributors of sexually exploitative materials but also their buyers as part of efforts to clamp down on digital sex crimes, officials said Monday.

The National Police Agency said it began discussing the matter in an interagency meeting with the government's policy coordination office, the interior ministry, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC), the country's censorship body and others.

"To curb online sex crimes, we have to block supply and demand at the same time," police said.

Until now, most cases in which identities were disclosed involved online distributors of sexual abuse materials, such as the operators of Baksabang and Nth room, infamous Telegram-based sex abuse rings that shocked the country last year.

Dozens of women and girls were found to have been coerced into filming and sharing sexually exploitative materials of themselves in the Telegram chat rooms for years.

Police also plan to beef up the protection and support of victims by improving the tracking system for online sexual abuse materials.

Police will add facial recognition technology to the system in order to better identify photos and videos containing victims' faces and erase them in cooperation with the gender ministry and the KCSC.

The system will also be updated to initiate the tracking program upon the victim's report to the police.

Source: Yonhap News Agency