Activists Begin Sit-In Hunger Strike Against Internet Contents Rating System
Concerned citizens put their bodies and lives on the line to keep the internet free from government control.
Source :  BASE21
A student protests the Korean government's suppression of internet freedom in front of the Ministry of Information and Communication.
Oct. 26 (Seoul, Korea) -- In the wake of the Ministry of Information and Communication's announcement to implement a controversial internet content rating system, activists from several civic organizations responded with a sit-in hunger strike at Myongdong Cathedral, a traditional site of protest in Korea. Opponents of the rating system argue that it will seriously undermine freedom of expression on the internet in particular and civil liberties and social democracy in general.
At a recent press conference, the protestors charged the Korean government with manipulating public opinion by distorting the true nature of the ratings system and not revealing it for what it really is--government monopolization and censorship of information and individual expression. By giving itself the sole authority to define the "immorality" of content, protestors argued, the Kim Dae-Jung administration can restrict access to a number of progressive organizations and individuals, especially gay and lesbian groups, who have been historically denied a voice in Korean civil society. But this new law will be felt by all citizens, whose personal homepages, postings, and visual images would be meticulously scrutinized for any rhetoric deemed as a "threat" to the current political, economic, and social order.
Without a full and detailed explanation of the ratings system's ramifications on civic liberties, the law and its authors never had public permission or approval, the activists stated.
The hunger-strike will last for 60 days.
Chang-nam Lee/ Staff Reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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