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10 S. Koreans Arrested Over Smartphone Porn

10 S. Koreans Arrested Over Smartphone Porn
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Apr 26, 2011 12:15 PM PDT    Text size: 

DAEGU, S. Korea — Police here have arrested 10 men and women who allegedly distributed porn through their smartphones.

Police in Daegu, the third-largest city in South Korea, questioned the group that are alleged to have violated a federal law banning the dissemination of pornographic clips through telecommunication networks.

Police said a 23-year-old man, surnamed Kwon, is suspected of having webcast a sexual encounter with his girlfriend live using his smartphone last month. Later, Kwon filmed more sexual encounters with nine other people and released it in the same way.

“Dissemination of pornographic footage via smartphones is subject to punishment,” according to a statement from Daegu police at the Dongbu Police Station.

South Korea has 10 million registered smartphones, and research firms say that number could double by next year.

With more smartphones in the country, police and federal regulators in Seoul likely will have more obscenity issues to contend while striving to create what the Korea Communications Standards Commission calls a “sound and friendly communications environment.”  

While obscene images are on the government's radar, so are games — including the banned "Grand Theft Auto III" — which are starting to hit mobile devices.

The Korean Constitution gives the government flexibility to regulate speech but does not protect freedom of speech as broadly as the 1st Amendment in the U.S.

While many statutes regulate obscene materials in South Korea, no statute defines obscenity.

The Korean definition of obscenity depends heavily upon the definition of shame and the abstract notion of sound sexual morality. In Korea, the judge alone must act as both factfinder and decisionmaker.

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