Posts tagged National Security Law
Despite living in one of the most wired societies in the world, South Korean Internet users enjoy a “partly free” Internet due to government censorship of content, according to the results of a global survey on Internet freedom.
Censorship of content, which includes many websites that carry North Korean content, has shot up in recent years.
The government’s own figures show 25,706 items were blocked in the first six months of 2013, compared to 39,296 sites in all of 2012. Five years ago in 2008, just 4,731 sites were blocked.
File this one under business as usual. North Korea was again ranked second-to-last in Reporters Without Borders’ annual press freedom index while South Korea continued to drop down the ranking.
The Paris-based press censorship watchdog ranked North Korea as 178th in its survey, just one rank above Eritrea.
“Kim Jong-un’s arrival at the head of the Hermit Kingdom has not in any way changed the regime’s absolute control of news and information,” the organization said in a statement.
North Korea and Eritrea have occupied the bottom two positions in the survey since 2007. Prior to that year, North Korea was ranked bottom from More >
Park Jung-geun, a Seoul-based photographer and free-speech activist, has received a 10-month suspended prison sentence for retweeting North Korean tweets.
The case, one of several that has drawn international attention to South Korean Internet censorship, has been going on for the better part of a year and was being closely watched for its interpretation of how South Korea’s National Security Act extends to Twitter.
The law targets those who “praise, encourage, disseminate or cooperate” with anti-social groups, in this case the North Korean government. Access to many North Korean websites and other Internet resources are blocked to South Korean Internet connections under the law.
Blocking Twitter More >
North Korea remains high on the list of enemies of the Internet, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Monday in an annual report on Internet censorship.
The country was listed alongside Bahrain, Belarus Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam as a home to the world’s most repressive online regimes.
The news won’t come as a surprise to anyone that follows North Korea. The country has the world’s harshest restrictions on Internet use and an almost total ban on access. Only a handful of the country’s 24 million people are allowed access, and then it’s only to operate propaganda websites or More >
North Korea has again been ranked the second-worst country in the world for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders. The Paris-based organization has consistently ranked the DPRK at the bottom of the world in terms of press freedom for the last decade.
“It is no surprise that the same trio of countries, Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea, absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties, again occupy the last three places in the index,” it said in the survey.
The news should come as no surprise to North Korea watchers. The government holds absolute control over the media, which delivers a centrally composed message through TV, radio and newspaper More >
South Korea’s attempts to keep North Korean material from the eyes and ears of its citizens is coming under the global media spotlight as the country launches a new sweep of domestic web sites and discussion forums.
Led by U.S. National Public Radio, the country’s arrests of citizens for the seemingly benign posting of North Korean songs or news clips was also covered by the Associated Press and most recently by The New York Times.
The coverage is likely unwelcome in Seoul.
NPR scored an interviewed with President Lee Myung Bak who defended the law as essential for maintaining South Korea’s way of More >
The live stream of North Korea’s KCTV, reported here last week, is currently down. Seoul-based Unification Broadcasting apparently took it offline after a flood of traffic prompted by a South Korean media report on the service. That report was triggered by the posting here.
The stream has apparently been available for sometime but the address only recently started appearing on some Internet forums and message boards related to international TV. Last week’s report on North Korea Tech appears to have brought the service to the attention of the media in Seoul and triggered at least two news reports.
First off the mark More >
North Korea’s main television propaganda mouthpiece is currently available over the Internet. The live stream of Korean Central Television appears to be originate from a South Korean web site — something that puts the site operator in potential violation of South Korea’s National Security Law.
Korean Central Television broadcasts nationwide to North Korea and is relayed over the Thaicom 5 satellite to most of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its terrestrial signal can also be received in some areas along the country’s northern border with China and Russia, but its signal south of the border is disrupted by South Korean government More >
Authorities in South Korea are questioning around 40 people over Internet postings said to be in support of North Korea, according to several local news reports.
(Update: The Dong-a-Ilbo reports around 70 are under criminal probe on suspicion of circulating materials praising North Korea online in violation of the National Security Law.)
The material was posted on personal websites and the now defunct “Cyber Command for National Defense” website, according to Yonhap. The site, which was shutdown late last year, had about 6,500 members of whom about 600 were judged to be at its core, according to previous estimates.
Last week police confiscated the server on More >
South Korean prosecutors are launching a crackdown on websites and users judged to be posting “pro-North Korean” material, according to several local press reports.
The action comes as regulators judge the amount of such material available to South Korean citizens has ”mushroomed to a risky level,” according to prosecutors quoted by Yonhap News said.
North Korea’s state-run media outlets have spent the last year launching several propaganda-filled sites that report on aspects of life in the country and extol the benefits of the country’s political system and its leaders. The outlets have also expanded onto social media with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels.
The ease with More >