The ‘Urgent Action Network against Cyber Surveillance’, which is composed of 19 groups including human rights organization, labor party and labor unions, held the ‘joint assembly of cyber surveillance victims :prologue for counterattack’ in the Korean Buddhism history and culture memorial hall on March 1, 2015. , and declared ‘the Declaration of Independence from Cyber Surveillance State’, which was borrowed from ‘3.1 declaration of independence’ that was announced on March 1, 1919, when there was a huge demonstration of Korean people against Japanese imperialism.
About 100 people attended this event and most of them were victims of communication surveillance last year, when the investigative agencies seized and searched the messages communicated through KAKAO-Talk, which is the most popular messenger service in S.Korea, and captured private messages of 2368 users who had been in the same chatting rooms with the target, Jung Jinwoo, who was the former vice-president of labor party and accused of instigation of demonstration against Korean government.
The participants wrote down their demands in the colored papers and summarized them into 5 resolutions : 1) to enact prohibition on cyber surveillance, 2) to be independent from cyber surveillance state, 3) to strengthen punishment for surveillance and monitoring, 4) not to be daunted by the threat to the freedom of expression and thought, 5) to continue to fight to protect my internet rights.
* demands of victims :
The rationale and major points of what is called ‘prohibition act on cyber surveillance’, the revision of protection of communication secrets act, was introduced in the event by prof. Lee Hojung, who led the development of it in the Urgent Action Network. He explained that the basic idea of the act is to strengthen warrant requirement to limit the easy access to personal information by investigative agencies and to protect the rights of information subject to be informed and to control their own personal information. The proposed act would be proposed in the National Assembly at the end of March.
* introduction of ‘prohibition act on cyber surveillance’ by prof. Lee Hojung :
There were serveral cultural performances by singer activist Yeon Yongsuck, poet Song Kyungdong and cartoonist Lee Dongsu, who were also the victims of cyber surveillance. Lee Dongsu showed his cartoon on surveillance worm and told that we had to reflect on ourselves why we were so insenstive to surveillance worms that were parasitic to on our mind, while we were so sensitive to other viruses and dust.
* musical performance by Yeon Yongsuck :
* performance by cartoonist Lee Dongsu :
Lee Yosang, who is also a victim, told that he belatedly found that his private messages were captured by investigative agencies only because he had been in the same chatting room with Jung Jinwoo even if they didn’t know each other, and had been very nervous failing to get a sleep due to fear of state surveillance.
After the event, the participants had a press conference and recited the the Declaration of Independence from Cyber Surveillance State, and then marched to Jongro police station, where they had a demonstration censuring cyber surveillance, because Jongro police agency carried out seizure and search for Jung Jinwoo, and additionally it prohibited the march of participants to prearranged place without proper reason. With hurrah for cyber independence, they finished the event.
* march to Jongro police station :
* demonstraton in front of Jongro police station :