Online protests of
do you if the government tries to censor the Internet?
Try organizing a really big online sit-in.
is apparently what happened in South Korea. The Korean
Information and Communications Ministry has proposed
a ratings system that would force web site creators
to label themselves if their materials could somehow
be considered harmful to teenagers. A Ministry spokesperson
explained that once the ratings system was implemented,
troublesome websites could then be blocked off. The
agency intends to submit this bill to the National Assembly
within the next few months, and the entire system could
be up and running by the middle of next year.
have scoffed at this scheme, claiming that it would
amount to de facto government censorship. Chang Yeo-kyong
from Internet rights group Progressive Network noted
that these "so-called voluntary ratings will be
reviewed by a government committee, which suggests government's
coercive control over the Internet." Hundreds of
enraged Internet users simultaneously visited the Ministry's
home page and disrupted service for hours, apparently
as part of massive "click-in" protest. Against
this backdrop, numerous politicians from the Korean
Democratic Labor Party will oppose the bill when the
Assembly begins considering the proposal this fall.
users block site to protest rating system," Associated
Press, August 29, 2000, at http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2642059.html