[EDITORIALS]Big brother causing a stir

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[EDITORIALS]Big brother causing a stir

There is a row going on over alleged wiretapping by government agencies. The public is uneasy and the reputation of our democracy is being compromised. The prosecutors office has finally announced that it will launch an inquiry into the matter but the actual investigation is expected to start after the presidential election this month.

The conflict over alleged illegal wiretapping could prove to be crucial in the presidential race and the Grand National Party, which has made the allegations. The National Intelligence Service and the Millennium Democratic Party, which have allegedly conducted and ordered wiretapping, all show no signs of backing down on the issue.

This chaos must stop. We can no longer allow our country to wallow in such confusion. If the allegations are true, the Grand National Party should reveal the route through which it obtained its information and produce concrete and accurate evidence to back its statements. The new material the party produced yesterday claiming to be contents of wiretapping by the National Intelligence Service is vastly larger than expected.

The attitude of the nation's top intelligence agency in this affair leaves something to be desired. Even from the objective point of view of journalists, material was produced that could not have been obtained but through wiretapping. Even if the National Intelligence Service is innocent, some sort of wiretapping had been going on for a considerably long period of time. The agency claims that it had nothing to do with the documents produced as evidence but the content of the documents make its claim unconvincing.

The MDP's presidential candidate, Roh Moo-hyun, has called for a speedy investigation. Although coming late, this is a welcome development.

Among the disclosed material by the Grand National Party, some of the contents concerning high-level government officials would have been impossible to obtain without a large-scale organization conducting closely-knit surveillance. The truth must be found before the public falls into a trough of distrust, suspecting that the entire country is being watched.
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