Evan Ramstad and R. Jai Krishna wrote a good piece for the Wall Street Journal on the freedom of speech in Korea and India.
Korea has, again, begun to stricly enforce its online censorship laws. Some academics are questiong the tactics of the government:
“Whoever has posted the illegal information can be held responsible that way,” said Mr. Park, who is a law professor at Korea University in Seoul. “The commission’s answer to shut down or erase the illegal information is virtually impossible to enforce in a constitutional manner.”
South Korea’s 1987 constitution guarantees free speech. Even so, the government has created a welter of limits on expression, particularly on political and security topics. South Korea also allows people to be criminally punished for defamation and the country is one of just a few, including Japan, where truth is not allowed as a defense against libel.
Over the past decade, that atmosphere of limited expression has crept into South Korean cyberspace. For instance, the government requires South Koreans to use real names when they make comments on Internet sites or post videos on Korea-based Web portals. Online game players must also use their real names and provide ages to comply with nightly curfews on children using computer games.
Is it time to recognize that free speech will come with many pains, but the benefits of an open and free democracy far outweighs the pain felt my a small minority of the population (usually public figures)? Are Koreans skin not thick enough, yet, to deal with a free and open society?
- Constitutional Court of Korea Declares Internet Real-Name Online Identification System Unconstitutional
- Finally All Criminal Cases to Be Disclosed to Public in Korea
- Defamation on the Internet is a Criminal Offense in Korea
- South Korean Gambling Laws Explained
- South Korea still Required to use Internet Explorer due to 1999 Law
- Sean Hayes to give Speech at American Bar Association Conference in LA
- Constitutional Court of Korea Declares Real Name Verification Unconstitutional
- Defamation Law Under Korean Law
- Korea’s Cyber Defamation Law: Basics of Libel and Slander in Korea
- Korea Increases the List of Serious Crimes in the Act on Regulation and Punishment of Criminal Proceeds Concealment