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Three “Cyber Evils” in South KoreaThree “Cyber Evils” in South Korea

Since 2008, when the current conservative president was sworn in, administrative control on internet content has been getting progressively tighter and tighter in South Korea, a country with the second most connected population on Earth.

“There has been a shrinking space for freedom of expression in the Republic of Korea, primarily due to new and more restrictive interpretations and application of existing laws,” says the UN’s special rapporteur..

Seoul-based APC member Jinbonet has been leading a campaign against what they refer to as the government’s “three cyber evils”: the cyber insult law, the internet “real name” system and deep packet inspection to monitor and control internet communication.

The governing party proposed the cyber insult law, which could potentially be misused to suppress speech critical of the government or powerful individuals.

They also proposed a bill to expand the scope of internet sites that require a person’s real name, which forced major portal sites to adopt an online identity verification system for those wanting to post articles on bulletin boards in those sites.

A revision of the Communications Secrecy Protection Act was also proposed, which sought to legally oblige telecommunications companies and internet service providers to retain communications data for at least three months to one year, and would require mobile phone service providers to redesign their networks to facilitate wiretapping. In addition, it turns out that investigative agencies including the national security and prosecution agencies and police have carried out deep packet inspection.