Internet powerhouse, Korea? Shame on its internet policies!

By Jinbonet for Jinbonet

, by Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

The OECD ministerial meeting on “the Future of the Internet Economy” is being held in Seoul, Korea from June 17th to 18th. The Korean government seems to use this meeting as an opportunity to show off its advances of the Internet technology and promote “IT Korea global sales” by hosting the World IT Show and other similar events. However, no one would call a nation a ‘leading country of the Internet’ solely on its strong information technology base and IT industries. We hope this meeting would be a chance for the Korean government to recognize and feel embarrassed for its information and communication policies, including Internet policies, which violate many human-rights and is lagging behind.

Just a few months ago, an Internet auction site was hacked causing personal information of more than ten million people to be exposed, and one of the major ISPs, Hanaro-Telecom, intentionally abused its more than six million clients’ personal information (the number of leaked records were more than eighty five millions). If public authority did their jobs in monitoring and overseeing these companies’ behaviors in collecting and using personal information, damages from such instances could have been minimized. NGOs in Korea has argued for establishing an independent ‘privacy supervisory authority’ to oversee such activities for many years. But the government’s lack of will and the National Assembly’s negligence cast a long shadow on the prospect of establishing such an authority to oversee privacy in the so-called ‘Internet powerhouse’. Read more