June 27, 2001 — APC has received a request from JinboNet,our partner network in Korea, for support and solidarity for a 72 hour “website strike” from June 29th to July 1st. This action is being widely supported by progressive organisations in Korea and is being taken in protest against the Korean government’s introduction, from July 1st, of a compulsory filtering system for “PC Bangs” (Cybercafes), schools and public libraries.The system will block access to websites that the Korean government considers to be “harmful to minors”. Websites are being selected for blocking by means of robot keyword searches. The initial list consists of 120,000 websites. Included in the list are many mainstream lesbian and gay websites.
APC supports the actions by the progressive movements in Korea in opposing these new government measures. We want to encourage our member organisations to lend their support in whatever way they feel able. Various options are listed below.
The Internet has played a vital role in moving Korea away from centralised dictatorship towards democracy. The enormous growth of the ‘PC Bangs’ with their cheap and easy access to uncensored global information has had a profound affect on Korean society, particularly through creating a well-informed and educated youth that have strongly challenged many of the more restrictive and undemocratic aspects of Korean society. This attempt by the government, once more, to control what these youth are able to read is a seriously retrograde step in the development of democracy in Korea and must be strongly opposed. We are particularly opposed to the attempt to ban Korean youth from access to lesbian and gay information sources.
The imposition of this compulsory filtering also sets a very bad example to the rest of the world. Whilst we are not opposed in principle to the use of filtering software as a choice to be made by the user, and believe social NGOs should be prepared to develop their own filtering systems for voluntary use by civil society, we believe compulsory filtering by government decree is not the way forward.
Below are details of actions that can be taken in support of the Korean actions. For further information, or to discuss actions you can take contact Della (policy coordinator of Jinbonet). Her email address is email@example.com. And please, make sure you keep Della informed of any action you take.
Firstly:- You can join the 72 hours Website strike which is taking place from 29th noon in Korea. The ‘website strike’ means that every website joining the strike will have the same first page. There is an English version which can be used as an index at http://patcha.jinbo.net.
Secondly:- You can support by joining the banner campaign. This means placing this banner on your website and linking this to the English strike page at http://patcha.jinbo.net.
Lastly, but perhaps most important of all:- Send protest messages to:
* Cheong Wa Dae from the Korean Information Communication Ethics Committee: Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Korean Ministry of Information & Communication: Email : email@example.com
The Information and Communication Ethics Committee: E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
and send off-line Protest Messages by telephone or Fax. to
* Korean Ministry of Information & Communication
– General inquiries : +82 2 750 2000
– Help desk : +82 2 750 2114
* The Information and Communication Ethics Committee
– Tel : +82-2-3415-0154
– Fax : +82-2-3415-0199