Thursday, June 26, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, June 21 2008] Prosecutory measures taken in ChoJoongDong case

Supreme Prosecutors’ Office attempts to bring Internet campaign under control

The prosecution is taking steps to launch a probe against the voluntary campaign by Internet users which calls on companies to remove their ads from “ChoJoongDong,” an acronym that refers to the three major conservative newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo, the JoongAng Ilbo and the Dong-a Ilbo. Prosecutors said the probe would focus on information exchanges among citizens which protest against the conservative media’s journalistic stance and make telephone calls to boycott their advertisers. The move is stirring up a controversy of “political prosecution” and the prosecutor is also being accused of conducting an irrational investigation.

In a press conference on June 20, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office unveiled its plan to crack down on “criminals causing a harmful environment on the Internet, especially including cyber violence.” The Supreme Prosecution ordered its investigators nationwide to crack down on attempts to make collective threats and harsh statements on the Internet, including a call to stop placing ads; an act which defames a person by spreading rumors or posting an insulting reply message; an act which leads to collective threats and slander by publicizing personal information on the Web. Of potential suspects, given their ways of committing crimes and the extent of damage, the prosecution said it plans to detain those who have the possibility of destroying evidence for questioning.

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