중앙데일리

Korea’s Internet to get less private

Jan 09,2007
The government appears to be moving to tighten up controls that will make the Internet in Korea less anonymous.
The National Assembly approved late last month new legislation on information security. A report released yesterday by the Information Ministry said government and large private Web sites will be required, beginning in July, to include ways to track all posters on those sites by their national identity number.
Despite the emphasis on personal privacy here in some respects, many Web sites here already require users to register with that national ID number, which is checked against the government database of names and numbers. But on some sites, comments posted in response to a new topic or a news report can still be posted anonymously. That, the ministry said, will change in July, as will the freedom to post anonymously on some government Web sites. The ministry’s announcement was somewhat vague, but suggested that the requirement would apply to official sites and to private sites that have an average of 100,000 visitors per day or more.
Sites that do not comply would be liable for fines of up to 30 million won ($31,500).
Late last year, 27 Web portal sites and 16 media Web sites had daily visitor counts above that limit.
The ministry said real names of posters would not be visible in their posts, but those posts would have to be traceable back to a registration of the user’s real name and ID number. It did not say how the system would apply to minors, who have no national IDs, or to foreign users of Korean Web sites.


by Wohn Dong-hee


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