Founder of the South Korean pornography site imprisoned in the voyeurism epidemic World news

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The co-founder of South Korea's biggest pornography website has been imprisoned for four years for the distribution of obscene material, while the country tries to tackle an epidemic of voyeurism.

The woman, mentioned only by her surname Song in the South Korean media reports, was sentenced this week after a court declared she was guilty of "aiding and abetting" the spread of obscene images on Soranet, which she herself would have founded with her husband and another couple in 1999.

The file-sharing site, which used a server overseas, once had over a million users and housed tens of thousands of images, including "revenge porn" and videos of women secretly registered in bathrooms and other public places. It was closed in 2016 following complaints from women's rights groups.

"Beyond the basic concept of pornography, the website has seriously violated and distorted the values ​​and dignity of children and young people, as well as of all human beings," said Seoul District Court in its ruling, according to the Korea Herald.

"It is difficult to measure how much harm the existence of the website has caused our society, in a visible and invisible way".

Although it is illegal to distribute pornographic material in South Korea, videos with sexual content are widely shared by servers located abroad or through secret file sharing sites, according to the country's media.

Molka, or images taken secretly of a sexual nature, has reached epidemic proportions in South Korea and last summer has provoked enormous demonstrations by women who ask that the police act against those who film and share the material.

Of the 16,201 people arrested between 2012 and 2017 for illegal registration, 98% were men; 84% of the 26,000 victims registered at that time were women, according to police.

South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, acknowledged last year that the use of spycams had become "part of daily life" and demanded harsher penalties for offenders.

Government workers in Seoul have begun daily checks for spycam in public toilets in response to growing public outrage.

Song was also fined 1.4 billion won (£ 980,000) and ordered 80 hours of education to prevent sexual violence, the Korean courier said.

The 46 year old escaped to New Zealand when the Soranet investigation began in 2015, but it was delivered last June after the South Korean government revoked the passport.

She denied the allegations during the trial, claiming that her husband and the second couple, all residing abroad, were responsible for managing the site.

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