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Illegal Wiretapping Is Widespread

Posted June. 14, 2005 03:03,   


Wiretapping is prevalent among the public and not just law enforcement authorities.

Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Hee-jung of the National Assembly Science Technology Information Communications Committee revealed in a government inquiry on Monday that 177 cases of wiretapping among citizens were disclosed from 2000 to May of this year.

It is the first time wiretapping incidents among citizens, not law enforcement authorities, were confirmed by specific statistics.

Rep. Kim said, “The reported cases of wiretapping were disclosed when 11 private security companies, including S1, swept for bugs.”

Moreover, private security companies register over 1,000 requirements for sweeping annually, which shows that citizens and private enterprises feel more vulnerable to invasions of privacy and exposures of confidential corporate information.

Fortunately, the number of annual recorded citizen wiretapping cases has been in decline, recording 32, 43, 40, 29, and 27 cases respectively in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, and with six cases recorded so far this year as of May.

However, the Central Radio Monitoring Office (CRMO) says it has disclosed eight cases of wiretapping in large electronics markets and errand service centers between 2004 and May of this year, indicating that there are more cases of wiretapping than are being recorded.

Rep. Kim said, “Only 17 groups or 33 CRMO personnel are in charge of monitoring wiretapping. They double as cell phone piracy monitors as well, which means that they cannot solely focus on the wiretapping monitoring, making an effective crackdown on wiretapping difficult.”

Sang-Hoon Kim sanhkim@donga.com