Internet censorship in South Korea and roots of misunderstanding

China is notorious for its “great firewall of China”. Because my job (software engineer) is somewhat related to the networks and the web technologies, I often hear about it (Google and Wikipedia are always fighting against it while Yahoo and AOL are willing to cooperate with China). You can test to see if your site is blocked or not at this site. And guess what? This blog is certainly blocked.

What about South Korea?

CNN May 18, 2007 Study: 25 countries block Web sites

South Korea, for instance, tends to block only information about its neighboring rival, North Korea.

Yes it IS blocked for sure. South Koreans can’t view North Korean websites maintained by Chongryon in Japan. I think this should be stopped right now. You know why? Because if you keep people in a clean room for a long time, they loose immunity. And when they are exposed by the propaganda, they tend to be tricked so easily. I think it is about time for South Koreans to actually see by themselves how absurd and abnormal North Korea really is, aside from pictures of the happy North Korean faces of kids that the unification minister always waving around.

But, it’s not the only kind of websites that tend to be blocked.

The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and related agreements have/had been hidden from South Korean people until 2005. They did not know it ever existed. Even today, they[most people] don’t know what’s exactly in there, especially related agreements concerning money. A few years ago, I was surprised when I showed texts of the agreements over the internet to a South Korean, he said the site was unable to open while I had no problem. But, recently ROK gave up and made it public. I guess the ROK gave up because a whole bunch of Japanese tried to send them the texts. lol

What’s so important about the agreements? It’s about money. It shows Japan payed enormous amount of money to South Korea and gave up all property left in South Korea, and the ROK demands no more compensation. They denied individual compensation from Japan and demanded to pay the full money directly to the ROK government promising they would use it for those who suffered. But ROK used the money for their economy. And this facts, not to mention the ODAs…, have/had been kept secret to South Koreans. That’s why they keep asking compensation, compensation, compensation, gimme money money all the time.

That’s not all. Do you Korean watchers remember a few years ago when many pro-Japan websites (actully daum cafes) had been taken down? They say it’s not good for young souls. Shit.

[e-클린] 사이버 親日망령이 떠돈다
[매일경제 2006-03-14 08:23]


“독도는 일본땅” “3ㆍ1 운동은 종교 폭동’ 등 망언이 사람들의 공분을 사고 있지만 온라인 상에서는 잘 인지되지 않은 친일, 반한 사이트들이 활개를 치고 있다.

친일 사이트들은 별도 사이트를 개설하기보다 주로 포털 사이트에 카페나 커뮤니티 를 개설하는 방식으로 운영되고 있다.

이들은 ‘더러운 조센징’, ‘대일본제국’ 등 자극적인 사이트 이름을 달고 있는 것이 특징이며 역사왜곡과 민족비하를 일삼고 있어 많은 이들의 분노를 사고 있다.

친일 사이트는 각각 1000명이 넘는 회원수를 보유하고 있고 그 파장이 크다는 점에 서 심각한 사이버 공해로 지적되고 있다.

이들 카페의 운영자는 대부분 30대 젊은층으로 일본에서 유학을 했거나 오랫동안 거주했던 사람인 것으로 추정된다.

친일 작가로 알려진 김완섭 씨 역시 ‘앞으로도 일본은 아시아의 맹주로서 아시아를 리드해야 한다’, ‘조선총독부가 없었다면 지금의 한국 발전도 없었다’, ‘일본 통치 시대에 착취라는 것은 없었고 근대화의 노하우를 확산시키는 역할을 했다’는 망언 으로 수많은 사람의 분노를 샀다.

그러나 현형법상 역사왜곡 자체를 처벌할 수 있는 조항이 없다는 것이 문제다.

이러한 친일, 반한 사이트의 개설과 운영은 불법으로 분류되지 않기 때문이다.

And there is more. It’s self-censorship of the media. Take this article [in Korean]. Here is the same article [in Japanese] from the same Chosun Ilbo. Take a good look at the picture. Did you notice the wards 大清国属 高麗国旗 are missing from the picture of Korean article??? [read this for detail]

They freaking photoshoped it. I was shocked shocked to find this.


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