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Struggle Newsletter

2001 Campaign Against
The Internet Content System in Korea

By 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 .