Stop Korean Online Censorship!!

  • No Mandatory Internet Content Rating System!
  • Preserve the Right to Demonstrate Online!  

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Stop the suppression of on-line activities

The Website of the Korean Ministry of Information & Communication was down on August 26 for 10 hours because many Korean Netizens over loaded the website by posting protest messages on the board and reloading repeatedly the page to voice their opposition to the proposed legislation of the Ministry. This type of protest is called a "Virtual Sit-in." It is a legitimate form of demonstration. During the protest, some tempered netizens made and used some Javascript files.

But the government considered the protest an illegal act. They said, "To crash the website by using the files is to purposely obstruct service. So it is illegal."

The Cyber Terror Prevention Center in the police department investigated Jinbonet (Korean Progressive Network Center) on August 29 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.. The police authorities asked for the records of users who put special Javascript programming files on the bulletin board of Jinbonet and the people who downloaded the files. In addition, they asked for Jinbonet's Hard Disks. However, Jinbonet refused to give out the hard disks which contain information about innocent netizens. After an hour fight, the police and Jinbonet compromised by checking the log files and copying them in the office.

As many of you know, Jinbonet does not record user's IP addresses. This is because the organization has defended user privacy since it was established in 1998 to help social organizations to support independent on-line activities. So far, Jinbonet has had threats from many Investigation agencies asking for user information. But their attempts seldom succeeded. To inspect the hard disks which contain information of not only the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Korean Women's Group United, Green Korea United but also many users can be regarded as censuring over on-line activities, and if many hard disks were to be confiscated, the Jinbonet could not exist. In the past, when other social organizations had inspections, in addition to information, keyboards, computer monitors and other things were taken away.

We have to ask how serious this problem is. From today's lesson, we can say that even a small excuse can be reason  enough for them to investigate us. The proposed legislation on establishing Communication Order is one of the laws that will legalize these inspections. So far, we have discussed this law during public debates about stopped the monopolization by the Ministry. From now on, people's opinions will be publicity available via the government's home page. This means that we have the right to know and this is the first step forward satisfying our demands. Also we have the right to demonstrate on-line just like we have this right outdoors. This is our right!!!   

From today's incident, Jinbonet  has once again experienced the restrictions of on-line activities that the government wants, and we will fight against them no matter what it costs. So far, we believe that many netizens will support us!!

* Order for the government, not the people:

    The Korean ministry of Information & Communications must stop supporting the legislation for establishing the Communication Order.

* Freedon in name only:

    We oppose the Internet content rating system in Internet.

September, 2000