Sunday, August 3, 2008

Korea's Beef Infodemic and Cyber Defamation Law

The international news agency Reuters took note today of a subject treated in several of my earlier posts on the Korean "Beef Infodemic." The Reuters headline cast the subject as "Bruised South Korean government takes on infodemics." The lead sentence in the Reuters report says that "South Korea's unpopular young government is having second thoughts about the benefits of running the world's most wired society."   Not a bad lead, except for the fact that much of Korea's networking these days is wireless, and is aiming to become "ubiquitous."  South Korean government efforts to deal with media convergence are one factor that has led to a full fledged debate here about the role of the traditional print media powerhouses here and the nation's leading internet portals.  The Justice Ministry is working on what it calls a Cyber Defamation Law. "The reality is that we lack the means to effectively deal with harmful Internet messages," a ministry official said.  The Korean Communications Commission, which regulates the industry, has come up with its own rules to oblige portals to suspend sites stepping outside the limits and force Websites to use real names of anyone posting comments. The commission says the measures are designed to improve security and reduce the spread of false information.  Predictably, voices are rising that the government moves are attempts to erode freedom in a country that has had only two decades of democratic elections.
"The regulations violate the autonomy of the Internet and are an effective tool for tighter media control by the government," said Lee Han-ki, senior editor at the popular citizen news Website OhMyNews.  For a better overall picture, read the complete Reuters report.

No comments:

Post a Comment