Thursday, April 14, 2005

Policies to watch

Drudge links to an AP story on a South Korean crackdown on online pornography.

Since January, the main prosecutor's office in Seoul has issued arrest warrants for about 100 people charged with spreading obscene material under South Korea's telecommunications law, a crime carrying penalties of up to a year in jail or a nearly $10,000 fine.

Later in the article, an interesting statistic and a disturbing trend:

In a country where more than 70 percent of homes have high-speed Internet connections, access to cyberporn is easy.

That means traditional taboos in Korea's conservative, Confucian-based society have quickly shattered, said Lee Mee-sook, a sociology professor at Paichai University in the central city of Daejeon.

"The code of ethics became weak, and people started satisfying their sexual desires through the Internet - anonymously," she said.

Also, South Korea already has a national ID card, and they’re not just using it to control immigration:

Many Korean Web sites require users to enter their national identification card numbers to confirm their age to access adult content. But tech-savvy children can use programs to create false numbers or simply use their parents' IDs instead.

And lastly, the interesting concept of limited free speech:

South Korea's constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but contains the caveat that such expression should neither "violate the honor or rights of other persons nor undermine public morals or social ethics."

I’ll pay a little more attention to articles from South Korea from now on - the results of their efforts will be fascinating I’m sure.