Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Freedom on the Internet - S. Koreans & Beijing IOC

It is quite weird how governments treat the boundaries of Internet use. Apparently the S. Korean government is going to impose some sort of Cyber Defamation Law because the President felt that:
"We have to guard against 'infodemics,' in which inaccurate, false information is disseminated, prompting social unrest that spreads like an epidemic," Lee (S. Korean President) told parliament early in July.
I guess the S. Korean got too passionate about the earlier US beef import incident. It is true that earlier this year there have been incidents of Internet abuse for the S. Koreans, including cases of cyber-bullying and serious incidents of privacy loss.

On the other hand, the Beijing government finally agreed to relax their Internet sites control after IOC president had a chat with the Beijing government.

Somehow these government actions all seems reactionary, and I wonder if they would take a more long term approach of 'internalising' the concepts that Internet boundaries are not practical. People will want to look at news that interest them, and there are simply too many ways to get around any 'blocks' or 'laws', for example there are these tools to get around the Chinese Web censor.

Education and public awareness of the advantages and pitfalls of the Internet are still (in my opinion) the best approaches. Costlier and take a longer time, but such long term solutions are more ideal.

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