Tuesday, August 05, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, July 23 2008] Gov’t cracks down on Internet freedoms

A new crime, the ‘cyber insult,’ and expansion of the ‘real names system’ could stifle freedom of expression

The government will impose punishment against administrators of Internet portals if they do not respond to defamation claims by deleting messages, raising questions about censorship. The move is expected to curb the freedom of expression and undermine the use of the Internet as a positive tool for communication because it could prompt Internet portals to voluntarily remove messages from their Web sites they deem objectionable in order to avoid possible punishment. In addition, the government plans to expand the “real names system” on the Internet and introduce a new crime, the “cyber insult,” which will allow police to punish Internet users who post messages with defamatory content.

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