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Suspected operator of controversial 'Digital Prison' arrested in Vietnam

National 17:52 September 23, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- An alleged operator of the controversial "Digital Prison" internet site has been arrested in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam, police said Wednesday.

The man, in his 30s, is suspected of violating privacy law by releasing personal information of alleged pedophiles, child abusers and murderers on the website that claimed to socially punish alleged perpetrators of horrendous crimes.

The website was created earlier this year to protest against what the public sees as an unfair criminal justice system, but it carries a perennial risk of punishing a falsely accused person.

The site has come under intense scrutiny after a 20-year-old university student, whose private details were made public on the site, was found dead in an apparent suicide earlier this month. In another case, a psychiatrist in Seoul was proved innocent by police after being wrongly accused in June of trying to buy sexual exploitation content online.

The police started an investigation into the website in May for sharing illegal content, and were trying to track down its operators. They requested international cooperation to arrest the suspect on intelligence that the man was in Vietnam. An Interpol red notice had been issued for the man.

The site resumed service on Sept. 11, after shutting down for several days. "We promise to release private information (of alleged criminals) only when there is damning evidence," it said on the website that day, clearly noting mounting concerns over potentially false accusations.

The suspect's detailed personal information is still unknown, the police said, adding that it will start a probe as soon as he is repatriated to Korea.

This graphic is provided by Yonhap News TV. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This graphic is provided by Yonhap News TV. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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