Monday, August 04, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, July 3 2008] KOCSC’s ruling on newspaper boycott campaign incites resistence

The ruling, which dubs the campaign illegal, violates the freedom of expression, some say

The Korea Communications Standards Commission ruled on July 1 that Internet users should delete information related to a boycott of companies that advertise in the nation’s three major conservative newspapers, sparking controversy that the ruling violates the freedom of expression.

Many experts say that the KOCSC, a independent body under the law, has abused its power by defining as illegal a campaign to boycott companies that advertise with the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, and DongA Ilbo, and proposing restrictive measures for related articles posted on the Internet.

In its ruling, the KOCSC said that the boycott campaign constituted an “unauthorized infringement of the rights of others” and classified the related Internet comments as “distribution of information that encourages illegal activities.” The ruling also defined the boycott campaign as “unlawful. Therefore, posting articles encouraging illegal activities on the Internet is illegal as well.”

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