Concerned parents jam site naming kid molesters

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Concerned parents jam site naming kid molesters

Ten child sex offenders’ names, profiles and addresses were made public on a government-run online Web site yesterday, in accordance with a law protecting minors from sexual predators passed this March.

The men featured on the Web site (www.sexpredator.go.kr) were placed on probation for sex crimes against minors after January 1. Profiles of molesters who are currently in prison will be added to the Web site after they are released.

Traffic was so heavy on the first day that a posting apologized for the site’s slowness and urged users to not search for offenders in areas free of them.

To view the information, users must verify their ages and identities when logging on with a social security number, digital verification certificate or cell phone number. The information is only available to people over the age of 20. After the verification process, information on the criminals can be searched by region or names. Users can also search for criminals living within a one-kilometer radius of any elementary school in the nation.

Along with profiles and addresses, summaries of the offenders’ crimes and rulings from their trials can be viewed. The information can be kept on the Web site for a maximum of ten years, depending on the crimes, according to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, which runs it.

Profiles of 401 earlier sexual predators will be posted on the site in September. Previously, information about criminals convicted from June 2006 to last year could only be viewed at police precincts by residents of the neighborhoods.

The ministry said the information should only be used to prevent sex crimes, and those who disclose the information on public forums or hack in to change information on the site will be subject to up to five years in prison or up to 50 million won ($41,978) in fines.

In compliance with the law, the ministry tracks IP addresses and names of those viewing the Web site.


By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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