Bounty hunting, Korea style

Are kids studying late at night in hagwons?  Turn ’em in (via Idiot’s collective)!

SEOUL—On a recent afternoon, Jung Doo-gil walked into an after-school academy with a hidden camera in her purse in search of a peculiar type of wrongdoing: overeducation.

She has joined a nationwide cat-and-mouse game among parents zealous for more education for their children and government and activists who are trying to reduce the fever.

Caught in the middle are the managers and teachers working in after-school academies called hagwons.

Other bounty hunters work to “film people committing small crimes and then turn the evidence in for a bounty…

Mr. Im’s pet target is people who burn garbage at construction sites, a violation of environmental laws.

“I’m making three times what I made as an English tutor,” said Mr. Im, 39, who began his new line of work around seven years ago and says he makes about $85,000 a year….

The bounties, however, are only part of the issue. More fundamentally, what we are seeing is the ubiquity of surveillance. I have mixed feeling about this transformation but given technology it is inevitable. What we can do, however, is to ensure that the surveillance goes all ways. The government surveils us both directly and with the help of the junior bounty hunters but we must guard our rights to also surveil them.

(Above I quoted Alex Taborrok at Marginal Revolution -the full-width text- and the article he is commenting on – the indented text.)

I could sure make a mint filming people running red lights.  At the exit from my apartment, when I wait for a green light, people pass me on the right and make a left turn in front of me.

Taborrok’s final paragraph really applies to both articles.  I agree with his point: we will never escape surveillance so we need to really open up how we, the public, use it.

Soon, the lack of video evidence will be a point against suspects.  “If you are innocent, why don’t you have video evidence verifying the fact?”


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