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Censorship on the Internet. Yes, it is South Korea.

Critic of the government, which on his page on Twitter criticized the president of his country found its my account is locked. Activist who on his Twitter page posted unflattering comments about government has been accused of libel. A judge, who wrote that the president ("His Highness") "putting pressure" on the Internet users, who challenged his authority, was fired, and was seen as retaliation.Such suppression of Internet freedom has been remarkable, but perhaps not surprising in China, with its army of vigilant online censors. However, in this case, an energetic social media censorship took place in South Korea, the country's flourishing democracy and one of the most integrated companies in the Internet environment in the world.
News Newsland: Censorship on the Internet. Yes, it is South Korea.
In South Korea, is quite remarkable adjoin desire to integrate into the World Wide Web and the conservative mood in government circles. In the country, seeing Lady Gaga such a threat that it has banned fans under 18 years old to attend the concert, the idea of ​​the unlimited possibilities for Internet users to be of grave concern among those in power.
"Not long ago, the role of the state and the role of institutions, including the press, was a kind of benevolent role of parent masses," said Michael Breen, author of "The Koreans: who they are, what they want, what their future."
Critics of the government of President Lee Myung-bak agreed that his conservative line is driving Internet repression. But they argue that the ban on profanity and other online activities have also become a convenient excuse to silence critics. This is not the first time that the government has been accused of overdo it - two former presidential aides and other officials on trial on charges of conducting illegal surveillance of citizens.
Curbing the hard-won freedoms is of particular concern, according to the activists, because social media is the latest manifestation of dissent, replacing the street battles of the 1980s, which led to the end of decades of dictatorship.
"New media and social networks such as Twitter have emerged as a new political tools for anti-government and people with liberal ideas," said Chang Yeh-Ken (Chang Yeo-kyung) (freedom of speech activist). "The government wants to create a deterrent mechanism to prevent the proliferation of critical views."
This charge was supported by some international observers. The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression was rather dismayed last year to lecture about the need for officials of public control in a democratic society.
And this year, "Reporters Without Borders" have included South Korea in the list of countries "under surveillance" in its report on "Enemies of the Internet" by putting it on a par with countries such as Russia, Egypt, and others known for their intolerance for dissent.
The group stated that South Korea has strengthened its multi-year campaign in the material that appeared in support of North Korea. But, the report said "censorship also focused on political opinions online - a critical issue in an election year"
The government denies censorship, trying to stifle criticism and says it is responding to negative developments in the online environment after signals citizens.
In a statement defending its position, the government said it acted because "the nature of the murders and suicides caused by excessive abuse, the spread of false rumors and slander are social issues."
But the monk Choi Byung-soon (Choi Byoung-sung), environmental critic of government policies, claims that undermine freedom of speech.
"They burned the house down on the pretext of killing a few fleas," said Mr. Choi, who fought with the removal of his blog, in which he warns of the potential health risks from cement containing industrial waste. (He won).
With the support of the South Korean government, "a romance with the Internet" has paid off: the country is one of the fastest networks in the world. And it's a matter of pride that the Seoul subway passengers can access the Internet from their smartphones.
But with such obvious advantages for business was unexpected: the onslaught of calls to public morals. Reluctance to interfere with the authorities so deeply ingrained that when the South Korean airlines have suffered from an unusual number of accidents in the 1990s, researchers have often partially blamed for indecision-pilot, who decided not to correct the mistakes of the authorities, even if they were obvious.
Distance and anonymity of Internet communication destroyed many of these fears. Suddenly, people who did not know anything but reverential respect were able to express their indignation in the most vivid epithets, which they previously could only be used in private communication with friends. The humiliation of those who so bravely criticized, according to analysts, it is difficult to overestimate.
"Great attention is paid to the importance of maintaining" public face, "said Ms. Zhang.
Park Kyung-sin (Park Kyung-sin) said that members of the political elite feel particularly stung (feel threatened), because they see themselves as "fatherly figures."
One of the first decisions taken by the Board after Mr. Lee came to power, was the decision to "clear language" used in reference to Mr. Lee, because, later said one commissioner, he must be regarded as the father of the state - "extended the concept of family. "
Such social-conservative arguments have less weight when the predecessor of Mr. Lee, Roh (Roh Moo-hyun), who was more open to criticism on the Internet, in particular, because he was determined to undo what political scientists call "imperial presidency" and considered Web comments are generally more friendly than the conservative media.
During the reign of Mr. Lee, regulators in more than tripled the number of Internet messages deleted or blocked, more than 53,000 in the past year (compared to 15,000 in 2008) for violations that include placement of pornography, the use of profanity or support to North Korea.
Government critics have stated that the tightening began in the early period, Mr. Lee, after the government accused his political opponents to use the Internet to organize mass demonstrations in 2008.
Prosecutors to bring charges in the spirit of the law of the dictatorship, accusing several culprits in spreading "false rumors": A teenager who sent a text message suggested that students nationwide partially abandoned classes to join the protest. (He was acquitted.)
This law was declared unconstitutional in the long run. But activists say the government has enough instruments to get back to the law of libel, which treats the offense is much greater than in other countries.
"Many criminal libel suits were brought by the statements that were true, and were in the public interest," said Frank La Rue (Frank La Rue), the UN Special Rapporteur in his report last year.
For Mr. Park, a dissident censorship board, one of the most critical problems is that the Commission can act with impunity, often removing the contents of the website without notice.
The Council says that it is working to become more transparent. But Song Jin-young, whose account was locked because he used a pseudonym, which was translated as "bastard Lee» («Lee Myung-bak bastard»), said the board eliminates most of the democratic rights.
"The government says I can not even use their ID to Twitter», recently said Mr. Sohn. "Is not it part of my right to criticize the president when I am unhappy with them?"

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