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<nettime> Korea : gay contents and internet rating system
andrew garton on Tue, 15 Jan 2002 21:01:16 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Korea : gay contents and internet rating system

Heady  days  ahead  with Korea's recently implemented Internet content
rating system...


This is a forwarded message:

From: della <della {AT} www.jinbo.net>
To: asia-ir {AT} list.jinbo.net
Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2002, 2:07:42 PM
Subject: [asia-ir] Korea : gay contents and internet rating system

===8<==============Original message text===============
Dear Friends,
Happy new year~!
I want to shortly brief you the current situation of Korean
internet censorship especially regarding the internet
rating system.

The 60 day relay hunger strikes was finished on December 20th,
2001. On that day we had a small festival with songs and performances.
You can see this in Real streaming file :

And last 9th, we had a press conference for the first lawsuit against
govenment internet rating system with the gay and lesbian content.

Here're some news clipping in English.


---------- Forwarded message ----------


Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 19:14 GMT

Korean gays sue over website access

Gay activists in South Korea have filed a lawsuit against government
restrictions on access to the country's first website for lesbians and gay

An alliance of 15 groups say the blocks on the website violate the
constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression, speech and of the

A spokesman for the movement Im Tae-Hun said the government had no right
to determine people's sexual orientation.

The authorities blocked access to the website ezone from schools,
libraries, state offices and cybercafes, after a government committee
designated it as detrimental to young people's morals.

However, internet users at home are still able to enter the site.


Lawsuit filed over gay Korean Web site
January 12, 2002 Posted: 5:32 AM EST (1032 GMT)

SEOUL, South Korea -- Homosexual rights advocates in South Korea have
filed a lawsuit against the government for blocking access to the nations
first Web site for lesbians and gays.

Ruling that the Web site, www.exzone.com, was "harmful to young people",
Korean Information and Communications Ethics Committee ordered the site to
block its access to teenage viewers.

Users must now type in their social security numbers so access is denied
to people under 19.

However, South Korea's Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Federation, together
with more than a dozen other rights groups says that the restrictions
discriminated against homosexuals and were a violation of the right to
freedom of speech.

"This clearly shows that the South Korean government refuses to recognize
homosexuals," said Lim Tae-hoon, a spokesman for the federation told the
Associated Press.

"All people, including teenagers, have the right to choose their sexual
identities and be open about it."

In response to the restrictions, the Web site has removed its original
contents and replaced them with statements from gay rights groups
protesting the government's actions.

Althgough homosexuality is not outlawed in South Korea, discussing it is
something of a taboo.

The gay rights movment has also been virtually inexistent in the East
Asian nation until recent years.

<Washington Post>

Korean Gay Activists Challenge Web Site Ban
by Adam Creed

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, Jan 10, 2002 (Newsbytes via COMTEX) -- South Korean
homosexual rights campaigners have today reportedly taken their government
to court over a ban on one of the country's first Web sites for gays and

According to the Lesbian and Gay Alliance Against Discrimination in Korea,
access to gay and lesbian Web sites has been blocked ever since the
government adopted an Internet content rating system last year and
classified gay and lesbian Web sites as "harmful media."

South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communications implemented a Web
content rating system in July of last year, coupled with national Web site
blocks for those sites that are effectively classified off the Korean

The Korean Information and Communications Ethics Committee (ICEC) was
charged with classifying content. In April 2001, according to the Lesbian
and Gay Alliance, it classified homosexuality under the category of
"obscenity and perversion" in its "Criteria for Indecent Internet Sites."

The committee is supposed to be independent. But the activists allege the
decision can be traced to the Korean government's Youth Protection Act of
1997, which classifies descriptions of "homosexual love" as "harmful to

That decision has blocked access to many gay and lesbian Web sites in
Korea, the alliance claims.

Activists are calling for: "an end to this system of compulsory site
blocking by the Korean government; a revision of measures in the Youth
Protection Law that designate homosexuality a harmful influence to youth;
and the adoption of provisions barring discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation in Korea."

The alliance is only the latest group to criticize South Korea's Internet
censorship laws, with organizations claiming they infringe on Koreans'
right to freedom of expression.

The Net content rating system is based on PICS (Platform for Internet
Content Selection) technology. Korea's Ministry of Information and
Communication insists that the Internet laws aim to protect youths from
harmful Internet content.

The Lesbian & Gay Alliance Against Discrimination in Korea is on the Web
at http://outpridekorea.com/lgaad/

      Asia Internet Rights Conference http://asia-ir.jinbo.net
    [Korean Progressive Network 'Jinbonet'] http://www.jinbo.net

===8<===========End of original message text===========

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