All posts tagged: media censorship

Where do North Korea and Porn meet on the Internet? On an South Korean IP!

  The pop-up screen from the National Police Agency Early March, I went to a launch party for an NGO called Arirang Institute. It’s mostly Americans and some Koreans working on cultural and reunification studies. What was fascinating was that the NGO is legally registered in the US, and that most members are not Korean. Oh, I should clarify, accessing information on North Korea here is illegal – if you try to access NK-sourced websites you will get a screen with a police badge that says “You were stopped from accessing this site because either (1) You are breaching national security; or (2) You are accessing porn sites, or gambling sites” (Yes, it’s illegal to access porn sites too!). One of the founders, Mike, who is studying for a PhD at the North Korean Studies University in Seoul, told me that the library does have all those books from North Korea (about Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il’s ideology, propaganda textbooks, and such) but no one is allowed to bring the books out or make personal copies – they can only read them …

Why Korean Soldiers Are Banned From Reading Chomsky and Ha-joon Chang

    Left: Guerrillas of the Samsung Empire, Pressian Books, 2008 Right: Bad Samaritans, Ha-Joon Chang, 2007 In 2008, the National Ministry of Defence was found to have produced a list of 23 “Anti-governmental” books and  officially banned them from  the military. An investigation found that under this regulation, all Korean soldiers are banned from reading and possessing them, and are subject to having their possessions searched when returning from a holiday (Pressian) (Reminder: All Korean men above the age of 18 must serve in the military for 2 years). The Seoul Central District Court ruled against the first lawsuit filed by 11 publishers and 11 authors in 2012, and the Seoul High Court against the lawsuit by 11 publishers and 11 authors in 2013 (News1). In both cases, the publishers and authors claimed 200 million KRW (200,000 USD) in damages caused by this censorship. However, the High Court said this action could not be classified as a censorship nor as a violation of the freedom of press, since (a) the books were not banned from …