September 23, 2022

SEOUL – Digital chatrooms that share or sell deepfake pornographic content remain prevalent despite a new provision to punish related crimes put in place two years ago.

Deepfake content refers to digitally manipulated videos and images that are difficult to distinguish from genuine content. Most deepfake porn content grafts a person’s face – usually an acquaintance or celebrity – onto sexually explicit videos.

According to ReSET, a support group for victims of digital sex crimes, one of the Telegram chat rooms they monitor had 2,193 users waiting to enter the upper classroom as of September 16, the group said Thursday.

Similar to the “Nth Room” case, in which a cartel distributed sexual exploitation content via Telegram, this cartel also uses multiple chat rooms divided into stages to avoid investigation.

According to a report that Representative Her Euna of the People Power Party received from the National Police Agency, a total of 264 cases of deepfake content distribution were reported from 2021 to August this year, but suspects were not brought to light. arrested in only 121 of them.

Recently, Park Ji-hyun, former co-chairman of the Democratic Party of Korea’s emergency steering committee who helped with the initial investigation of the “Nth Room” and “Baksa Room” cases, pointed out the seriousness of the crime of counterfeiting. by revealing that there is a Telegram chat room targeting her, producing and distributing content with her face and information.

One of the main reasons hampering the investigation is the use of social media operated by foreign companies and servers, where the majority of digital crimes take place, a ReSET activist pointed out. This has fueled calls for Korea to join the Cybercrime Convention, also known as the Budapest Convention.

The convention, created in 2001 under the aegis of the Council of Europe, aims for effective judicial cooperation between member countries in matters of cybercrime. Currently, 67 countries participate. The police have decided to review adherence to the Budapest Convention by the first half of next year.