The Internet Content System in
Patch A., Staff Reporter
Recently, the Korean government tried
to censor Internet content by legislating an act similar
to the United States Communication Decency Act (CDA)
passed in 1996. It is very similar in that the government
and Internet Service Providers (ISP) can officially
control Internet content.
Last year, a progressive
network called the "Collaboration Action Group
Against Information and Communication Censorship"
(CAG) formed. About 14 organizations, including Jinbonet,
participated in the network and carried out many actions.
The group particularly concentrated on stopping the
communication decency act proposed by the Korean Ministry
of Information and Communication (MIC). There were many
on and off line demonstrations against the MIC and the
legislation. Finally, the articles relating to Internet
content rating system were deleted from the act and
it was passed. For more information about last year's
situation, we have attached Jinbonet's statement at
the end of this newsletter).
But, this year, the
MIC added some articles related to the Internet Content
Rating System to the enforcement ordinance. And, they
announced that it would be carried out in July 2001.
Korean Civil organizations including, Jinbonet and CAG
considered it an act designed to deceive the Korean
people. They held a press conference on April 26. Sixty-four
progressive groups were organized and issued a statement
against the MIC's policy. In the statement, they said:
"The MIC is going
to implement a policy that will require Internet content
control software at all public PC centers ("PC
Bang"), schools and public libraries. The MIC already
provided the addresses of 108,000 so-called bad sites
to the software corporation making the software. Moreover,
the article in this ordinance, which the MIC has added,
is actually related to the Internet Content Rating System.
If this ordinance passes, all web sites will be forced
to rate their sites using a meta tag in all pages on
the site. The MIC insists that the act would just prevent
minors from accessing harmful content, for example,
pornographyy or violence. However the system of control
by the government is in fact very dangerous censorship."
Last May 24, 65 progressive group in Korea
lodged a protest against the ordinance. And they are
preparing strong responses as they continue to fight
against the ordinance. For example, on and off line
demonstrations are taking place with Korean Netizens
in June. From June 29 to July 1, for about 72 hours,
Site Strike will be on a lot of web sites. Now CAG is
gathering hundreds of progressive groups in Korea to
participate in this Site Strike. All participating groups
will make a common web page and place it so it appears
when people first enter the site. This common web page
will contain protest messages against this policy and
include links to bulletin boards where people can discuss
it. CAG requests international solidarity for this struggle.
If you want to join the campaign, send an email message
to the coordinator - Della (she is the policy maker
of Jinbonet). Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .