andrew garton on Tue, 26 Jun 2001 02:57:12 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Campaign Against The Internet Content System in Korea

[forwarded email]

Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 05:22:59 +0900
From: della <>
Organization: jinbonet
Subject: [asia-ict-monitor 83] [Della/Jinbonet] Korean Internet Rating system

Dear Friends,
This is Della(YKChang) of Jinbonet.

I'm writing to ask you urgent help and solidarity.

As I told you before, the Korean government have tried to run 'internal'
Internet Rating System using PICS as technical protocol and content labeling 
platform like RSACi(in America).
But many Korean NGOs have fought against Internet Rating System, and
the end of last year the congressmen announced they objected the 
But, finally the government start the system from this July 1st
with a semi-governmental committee naming 'ICEC'. They say this is not 
governmental censorship because the committee is not government itself.
But this committee have been pointed out that it actually have enforced
the ISPs cut and block the content since its starting in 1996.

Till now, we gathered some cases which was infringed the freedom of 
expression by ICEC. Last week we found out the 120,000 'abroad indecent' 
blocking list which ICEC had constructed and distributed from this March
blocked many 'decent' gay-lesbian content like,,,,,,, 
and so on... (They didn't want to show NGOs the list, but we submit the 
'open request') Korean officers said the gay-lesbian contents are harm for 
Korean minors so they must be blocked. Also they have very simple procedure
to select the sites and blocked them, using 'robot' and keword search engine
system. The officers believed that the technics do well. I think it's 
very dangerouse thought.

Korean people think the history went back to the preinternet.
We planned the 'Website Strike' for 72 hours from this June 29th noon.
At that time We'll have cyber ceremony to start our war and cyber street 
demonstration on MIC(Ministry of Information & Communications), ICEC
and the bluehouse (the president' house) homepages.

I asked you a short solidarity message.
I'm afraid in this short KONGLISH(Korean English -_-) 
I can't explain enough about Korean Internet Rating System,
but I hope you could comment a basic and general thing
about governmental censorship and internet rating system
(using PICS).


P.S. Here're a English newsletter announcing this
situation. I hope this help you finding out the things.

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 (in

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

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