“ChoJungDong Advertisement Interruption” - Detention two netizens
The Internet Credibility Obstruction Investigation Team (Team Manager: Bon-Jin Gu, the manger of Advanced Crime Investigation) of Seoul Supreme Prosecutors' Office applied advanced warrant of arrests of six netizens led the advertisement interruption movement against Chosu, Jung, and DongA newspaper companies that have been indulged in straining reports of Candlelight Meeting and the USA’beef. They come under suspicion that they interfered with the works of enterprises and gave 10 billion won of damage to Cho-Jung-Dong newspaper companies by posting the list and phone numbers of advertisers and by leading netizens to make protest phone calls as a group.
The prosecution asserts that the action to make protest phone calls as a group and to ask to stop advertisement comes under the category of work obstruction in the aspect of Criminal Law.
The actions made by the six persons, for whom warrants were requested, are merely informing the telephone numbers of enterprises which are open information. Furthermore, the subjects of actions are not the six persons but an unspecified number of general public. Also, as the enterprises received netizens’ calls cannot be deemed to have decided to stop advertisement against their intentions, there is no reason to apply work obstruction to this case. This case is merely a “modified customers' movement.”
On 21st August, the court issued warrants for two persons among the six persons for whom the warrants were requested. The court expressed the opinion that there was an explanation that all the six persons had made actions over the limit of free expression guaranteed by the constitution and were guilty in terms of work obstruction. It is exceptional that the court expresses its opinion on the criminal suspicion of the suspects for whom warrants were requested.
The court explained, “The suspects interfered with the proper business activities and free decision making of advertisers by intending to accomplish their assertions through continuous telephone offensives. In addition, the court clarified, “There is an explanation that such actions are the ones that exceeds the limit of free expression guaranteed by the constitution and belongs to work obstruction against advertisers and newspaper companies.”2)
“Candlelight suit merchants” – Punishment of 9 persons disclosed the list of merchants
The Cyber Crime Investigation Team of Seoul Police Service arrested 9 netizens on the suspicion of disclose of merchant list (defamation etc) who brought a lawsuit for indemnification for the damage caused by candlelight demonstration on the 13th and decided to request for arrest warrants of Ms Kim (female, 37 years).
According to the police, Ms Kim and the like come under the suspicion that they defamed the merchants, who brought a lawsuit for indemnification for loss against People’s Conference against Mad Cow Disease led Candlelight Meeting at the end of last month, and interfered with work by disclosing their firm names, representatives, telephone numbers, and location.
The police grasped the personal information of other 7 netizens and is tracking, due to the suspicion that they threatened the merchants, whose list was posted on internet, by making phone calls to their stores and saying, “Why did you bring a lawsuit? I’ll let you become bankrupt.”