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Ban on Web aliases set for October

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July 01,2005
CHEONAN ― The Ministry of Information and Communication said yesterday that it would establish measures to ban the use of aliases on certain Web sites by October. The government wants to require Korean Internet users to identify themselves when posting messages on online bulletin boards to prevent “cyber witch hunts.” Government officials said on Thursday that they were working on developing ways to prevent use of aliases on some Web sites but did not give a timeline. At yesterday’s conference in Cheonan, South Chungcheong province, to discuss strategies for the second half of the year, the ministry said it wants to start the new system with portals like Naver before the end of the year. It held a 50-minute panel discussion on the introduction of an online real-name system. Seok Jong-hoon, vice president of Daum Communications, argued it is wrong to try to put limits on posting messages online, which he said is a daily activity like riding the subway. But Rah Bong-ha, the ministry’s director of Internet policy, said the ministry’s online bulletin board that requires writers to identify themselves has 5 percent fewer inflammatory messages than the one that allows aliases. Han Sang-hie, a law professor at Konkuk University, countered that the reduction was insignificant. Other topics of discussion yesterday included measures this month to shut down spammers’ access to cell phones and e-mail, and folding caller ID service charges into basic monthly fees. by Park Sung-ha


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