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Apr. 23  2018
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We Refuse the "Internet Contents Rating System" and the Information Communication Ethics Committee (ICEC)"

The Joint Committee Against Government Censorship, which 54 Korean Progressive groups are currently participating in, strongly demand that the ICEC (which is actually part of the board of national censorship), should be dissolved, and loudly declare our refusal and denial of the Internet Contents Rating System.

Source  :  Jinbonet

April 22 is the Day of Information Communication in South Korea. We should prosecute government censorship because this system represses people's internet rights and freedom of speech. The Information and Communication Ethics Committee (ICEC) is controlling internet content with the standard of "dangerous" or "harmful", not "illegal." This system violates the freedom of expression that is guaranteed by the constitution, and, moreover, violates international law. Also, the government is the personnel manager of the chairman and all members of the ICEC. So, the power of this committee is unduly powerful and consequently, places undue pressure on the civil sector to align themselves with its stance. We need to remember that in 1996 the Contstitutional Court has judged the Performance Ethics Commitee to be unconstitutional. The system that the ICEC is trying to adopt is fundamentally similar to this unconstitutional precedent and should, therefore, be scrapped. In fact, the ICEC is the board of inspection though the government asserts that the ICEC is a self-civil organization.

The ICEC still maintains that they are a civil organization, directly reflecting popular consent, but in reality, it is nothing but an overly biased, untransparent censorship committee designed to undemocratically assert the will of a biased few over the will of the people.

Furthermore, placing electronic signs on the contents deemed to be harmful to minors (which is a mechanical Rating system automatically designating the standards set out by the ICEC) is a flagrant example showing how the body oversteps its legitimate jurisdiction.

In the year 2000, the members of the National Assembly were opposed to this law because it was carried out by indiscriminate mechanical means. But, this rejected law was revived as Enforcement Ordinance of the Ministry of Information Communication. This revival is in direct contradiction and opposition to the precedent set by the National Assembly which more closely reflects the will of the people.

We already know that freedom of expression is an essential component of democracy and that it is also a basic human right. It was hard fought for by our brave forebears during the democracy movement and was finally achieved after several decades of harsh suppression through the people's unwavering determination and vision of a free society. The "Internet Contents Rating System" and the ICEC (which also constitutes censorship) should be destroyed by the will of the people who are gravely apalled by the most undemocratic silencing of voices that the government perpetuates with these bodies.

The Joint Committee Against Government Censorship, which 54 Korean Progressive groups are currently participating in, strongly demand that the ICEC (which is actually part of the board of national censorship), should be dissolved, and loudly declare our refusal and denial of the Internet Contents Rating System.

We will not tolerate the marking of material deemed to be of "questionable moral benefit to teenagers" by the grade indicators (electronic signs) on our web-page, and furthermore, will campaign to all members of Korean society against this undue and undemocratic gagging of their voices, strongly encouraging everyone to resist this infringement of their fundamental right to speak their minds openly and publicly, without fear of government reprisal. We also assert that the rights of minors must be guaranteed with a different method and not inspection of the government. We will continuously and tirelessly struggle to maintain and guarantee the freedom of the internet and seek out more just and democratically sound solutions to these problems.

April 22, 2002
The Joint Committee Against Government Internet Censorship
2002 / -0 / 4-
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