[Weekly News] What’s up in Korea? (2. Jan)
1월 2, 2013

With the year 2012 behind us, beSUCCESS analyses 4 hottest issues in Korea for the first week of 2013.

Censorship in SNS services

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (yes, such a ministry does exist in Korea)  passed a new bill that protects youths from cyber bullying. They passed a bill that disables them from using swear words of slang on their KakaoTalk and other SNS services.

Due to the demand that requires a complete shutdown, and enforcement of filtering programs instead of attacking fundamental origins of cyber bullying, the Ministry is faced with much criticisms. There is the view that this policy breaches many guaranteed constitutional rights of the citizens such as the freedom of expression.

Moreover, the Constitutional Court of Korea ruled that the restricted policy of identity confirmation is unconstitutional, which brought to light many problems such as the lack of policies and measures as to the differentiating between an adult and a youth, and if this law is indeed to be passed, about how it cannot legally binding to overseas (and international) services such as Twitter, Facebook, and other SNS service providers. The efficiency and possibility of such laws are contested.

Ban of national identification number collection by IT service providers

In the coming February, IT service providers such as online shopping malls, gaming websites and portals will not be able to collect any information as to the national identification numbers of its users. Such services must be abolished and the collected information must be deleted by 2014 and all information must be deleted. This is according to the ‘clean internet’ policy.

The government acknowledged the gravity of the problems regarding the collection of national identification numbers and its ‘leak’ to others.

Laws limiting the use of national identification numbers have been in force since August of 2012, and have given 6 months for companies to delete such information by giving 6 months to do it– which ends this February.

Launch of Naver’s Newsstand

Naver launched a service that allows its users to choose a media they prefer and reading the articles instead of clicking the individual news articles.

This has its pros and cons – it can provide personalized news according to the users’ views. On the other hand, it is being criticized that the users will only read articles from major media companies.

Launch of KakaoPage

Kakao will launch the 'Kakao Page' that allows people to buy and sell contents freely with each other.

The contents that, for example, a blogger produces such as recipes, reviews and other blog contents, will be accessible and distributed by anyone without having to go through a publisher or a portal.

With this, they have deleted the wall of contents-making tools, and market entry. Although it has a similar format with the Android Market, App Store, and T Store, it allows anyone to create contents easily. beSUCCESS predicts that there will be a big change to the national digital content distribution market.

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