“Collection of information about something to use in deciding how to act.”
– Oxford Dictionary.
Among many meanings of the simple word “spying”, one of them is this. Espionage or spying – the simple five-syllable can be both a savior or a destructor. Just like science, this beautiful creation’s usage depends on the hands of humans. We had, and still have, agents who acted as spies by simply dissolving in the crowds of simple people to get information from the not-so-simple people. Hence whoever takes part in the act of espionage or spying is called an espionage agent or a spy and often these are done for good purposes. With the evolution of technology, slowly the evolution of Spyware started.
SPYWARE AND PEGASUS
Spyware is software that provides harm to whatever device it latches on. Instantly it would all the information was kept in the device. It is done to obtain information and is generally under the guidance of whoever is there controlling in the other end. In simple, it is breaching the privacy of the user.
One of the most notable software in recent days would be none other than Pegasus. Pegasus is a spyware software developed by the Israeli cyber arms firm NSO (acronym for Niv, Shalev, and Omri) group. This can be installed on mobile phones having the latest versions of iOS and Android. However, things quickly took a turn when reporters and journalists, worldwide and nationwide, started stating the absurd and incorrect use of Pegasus. They stated how the spyware had illegally latched its hands on everything in their mobile phones without their knowledge or consent. However, the Israeli firm declined the accusation and stated that the politicians and big heads have themselves contacted to use the spyware to keep a check on their fellow citizens.
Spyware cases in South Korea
In South Korea, Molka, an abbreviation for 몰래 카메라 [moɭɭɛ kʰameɾa], are miniature cameras which are secretly placed throughout the city to capture videos or footages without the knowledge of the victims. Spying, for many reasons, in South Korea, dates back to early 1997. Since then, with the development of spyware and spy cameras, slowly things shifted to mobile phones and computer devices. Slowly but steadily things began and kept growing in South Korea.
In 2018, the police of South Korea stated that 90% of the polka crimes were committed using smartphones.
Although the molka crimes have been in action for a long time with many cases filed by South Korean citizens, they began getting the attention of people worldwide when the celebrities got involved. IN 2018, a late South Korean singer from the girl group KARA, Goo Hara’s ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong Bum, had threatened to release videos of her which he had in possession. A prosecution was charged against Choi Jong Bum. Goo Hara was found dead in her apartment on the 20th of November, 2019.
This prompted further investigations. In 2019, the burning Sun Scandal and the Jung Joon-young KakaoTalk chatrooms took place which literally shook the entire nation. The JJY Chatrooms, a part of the Burning Sun Scandal, involved big names from the huge KPOP community like Seungri 9full name – Lee Seung-Hyun), the youngest member of the boyband BIGBANG, singer Jung Joon-young, and FTISLAND’s Choi Jonghoon. CNBLUE’s Lee Jong Hyun and HIGHLIGHT’s Young Junhyung have also been linked to the controversy. Seungri, the co-CEO of his nightclub, Burning Sun came to light when accusations were made regarding the things happening inside his nightclub. The investigations slowly led us to Kakao Talk chatrooms (South Korea’s most famous chatroom) and the contents they had discussed contents. The filming of minor and major girls alike for devastating reasons, made the public go haywire.
The involvement of so many celebrities and prestigious public figures gave an example of how serious this issue is and has widely the practice of illicit filming has spread in South Korea. Although everyone accused has been charged, the fear however remains. This Pegasus–like spyware has still gripped the entire nation. Except for the scandals of the celebrities, every year many cases some to life in South Korea telling us how dangerous it is. With the growth of spyware, the world might succumb, if proper protection is not taken.
This, at last, prompts the question, are we even safe anywhere?