[top10]Kakao refuses to hand over records to gov’t

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[top10]Kakao refuses to hand over records to gov’t

Korea’s largest messenger app service Daum Kakao vowed in October it will no longer comply with government requests for users’ chat records, a defiant move that has raised questions over the state’s right to demand such information and private companies’ responsibility to protect it.

Controversy over state monitoring of private conversations flared up following the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office announcement on Sept. 18 that it had established a new cyber investigation team to prevent the spread of false information online.

Daum Kakao acknowledged in a statement on Oct. 8 it had received 147 requests this year for user information and had handed over the records in 138 cases. The company’s subsequent announcement that it would cease to hand information over to the prosecutors came after 400,000 users abandoned KakaoTalk and signed up for other chat services considered free from government snooping.

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