In hidden corners across South Korea, tiny cameras are surreptitiously recording thousands of women when they are at their most vulnerable.
Women have come to fear that cameras could be anywhere: perched inside the toilet bowl of a public restroom, disguised as a smoke detector in a shop’s fitting room, even rolled into a plastic bag at the lip of a trash can.
In Seoul, the capital, the proliferation of such hidden cameras — and the images they record, which often end up on pornographic websites — has often been described by reporters as an epidemic.
The city announced a crackdown on Sunday, increasing the number of municipal employees assigned to search public bathrooms for hidden cameras to 8,000 in October from the 50 currently at work.
“It is to help citizens to feel safe when they use the public restrooms, free from concerns about spy cams,” the Seoul Metropolitan Government said in a statement.
The city has promised to inspect every one of its 20,554 public restrooms daily, an enormous undertaking that underscores the scope of the problem.
This week, in the European Parliament in Brussels, a “defense and security consultant” from a group called “Global Security Response” presented a new kind of solution to terrorism. Showing in a very clever way how the military approach to terrorism is failing.
“The European border regime in South Eastern Europe – between collapse and resurrection”
Tobias Flessenkemper, Senior Associate Researcher
Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) – European Institute, Nice/Berlin/Istanbul
Tobias Flessenkemper is working on the issue of external and internal security policies of the European Union with a focus on South Eastern Europe and the European neighbourhood. He holds a M.A. of the University of Cologne in Political Science and a European Master in International Humanitarian Assistance of the Ruhr-University Bochum. Since 1996 he worked for international organisations in Brussels and South Eastern Europe and currently manages elbarlament.org an independent organisation working in the field of democratic governance.
The 1990s crypto-wars seem to get started again. Under the new proposed measures it will be illegal to use secure end-to-end crypto like GPG, or even iMessage and Whatsapp. It’s even more important to learn how to use it then. We’re going to have another Cryptoparty at the upcoming Chaos.Cologne conference here at the KHM in May. Or just talk to us and we’ll show you how. It’s not hard to get started.
About Ars Electronica Futurelab- “Ars Electronica Futurelab focuses on the future at the nexus of art, technology and society. We consider our works as sketches of possible future scenarios in art-based, experimental forms. In this way, we are aiming at developing contributions through methods and strategies of applied science, the results of which reveal new knowledge and experiences of societal relevance in art and science. The lab’s team bases its work commitment upon transdisciplinary research and work which results in a variety of different disciplines at the lab. Having Artists and Researchers from all over the globe collaborating with – and taking residencies at – the Ars Electronica Futurelab, is fundamental to this Atelier/Laboratory. Our range of services concentrates on expertise developed throughout the years in fields such as media art, architecture, design, interactive exhibitions, virtual reality and real-time graphics.”
New Internet Monitor report: “Measuring Internet Activity”
Internet Monitor is delighted to announce the publication of “Measuring Internet Activity: A (Selective) Review of Methods and Metrics,” the second in a series of special reports that focus on key events and new developments in Internet freedom, incorporating technical, legal, social, and political analyses.
“Measuring Internet Activity,” authored by Robert Faris and Rebekah Heacock, explores current efforts to measure digital activity within three areas: infrastructure and access, control, and content and communities.
From Internet Monitor, “New Internet Monitor report: ‘Measuring Internet Activity: A (Selective) Review of Methods and Metrics'”
About Internet Monitor | @thenetmonitor
In the words of Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google (paraphrased, I can’t find the original quote):
“Identity will change from something that originates in the physical world and is being projected into the virtual world, to Identity that is created in the virtual and experienced in the physical world.”
Coincidentally, there is this news story about how US officials set up tents in hotel rooms where they fear surveillance. Shielding from video cameras, defeating audio bugs with a white noise generator, and even protecting against electromagnetic snooping. It took some work to find out what they look like from the outside. They appear very physical indeed. A psychoanalytic’s dream.