28 June 2004

Say Noh to censorship!

The Internet in Asia site, quoting The Korea Times, claims that: "South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is currently continuing its emergency 24-hour monitoring system to shield people from the gruesome execution scenes of Kim Sun-il. So far, it has blocked access to 40 foreign-based Web sites that contain the video footage showing the beheading of a South Korean hostage in Iraq." A Korean news site, Inews24, reports that pictures of Kim pleading for his life, having already been broadcast, will be allowed, whereas sites showing the killing itself will not be. Inews24 points out that this is the first time decency laws have been applied to a social issue other than pornography and similar categories of content.

While the Korean news articles mention "40 foreign-based websites," Korean-based bloggers report sweeping blockage of foreign blogging services. Does anyone know what legal basis the Korean government is currently using to block internet access to international blogging sites?

Marmot mentioned recent articles in the Korean press that have praised the media censorship complaining of foreign netizens, to include an article from the supposedly left-leaning Hankyore Shinmun. In response, I have deleted the Hankyore link from this site.

The following blogs discuss the censorship issue (links are from a post by Big Hominid copied to Chaotic Not Random):

P.S. Oranckay says that the massive blockage of access to blogging services might not be the government's doing but rather people running the technology--the routers perhaps? Personally, I don't take issue with the government blocking access to pictures of the beheading as this is something that would be upsetting to the family. However, it would be upsetting if the government was using this incident to shut down access to other sites as well.

I recently came across an excellent English-language article at Ohmy News.

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