Drone Voyeur Live-Streams Women From Outside Their Homes
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2017-07-07 09:01:07

A man in northwestern China has been detained for 10 days after using a drone to secretly live-stream young women from outside their apartments at night.

On July 2, the man identified only by his surname, Jin, live-streamed women in various states of undress in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, to over 100 viewers using a drone and the popular live-streaming mobile app Kuaishou, local newspaper Chinese Business View reported Thursday.

In order to attract more viewers, the 22-year-old Jin shared screenshots of the live stream and posted them to a group on messaging app WeChat. In the chat, he boasted that the image quality was very clear, and that the drone was a “magic spying machine.”

Screenshots of the live-stream disseminated online show comments from viewers praising Jin and urging him to film closer. “That girl on the left is completely naked,” writes one user. “Good work, bro!” comments another.

Following a two-day investigation, Jin was taken into custody by local police on suspicion of invasion of privacy. According to his confession, Jin live-streamed the women in order to gain virtual “gifts” from fans on the app, which can be exchanged for real money. He claimed to have been unaware that filming in secret was against the law.

Incidents involving drones and live-streaming regularly make the headlines, presenting new legal and regulatory challenges.

In May, a man was detained for seven days after using a drone to secretly film a military base in Guangzhou. Earlier this year, eight incidents of drone misuse at airports led to 138 flights being grounded in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China. New regulations requiring drone users to register using their real names have been issued in a bid to control the sector more closely.

Live-streaming in China can be highly lucrative, inspiring attention-seeking individuals to film themselves pulling dangerous pranks, pretending to take drugs, hunting illegally, and even abusing animals. And the live-streaming of hundreds of kindergarten and primary school classrooms across China has raised concerns about student privacy.

In an official push to remove online content considered “vulgar, obscene, violent, superstitious, and damaging to the psychological health of juveniles,” 48 live-streaming platforms were penalized — and 10 shut down completely — in May this year.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: Juice Images/VCG)