Sunday, August 14, 2005

Korean govt censorship generates
huge wave of blogger apathy

A blogger who shall remain nameless writes in:


Once again, there seems to be a general apathy among fellow Korean bloggers about the blockage and I'm a little confused by the lack of curiosity and coverage. Are we all so much into our own thing that we don't care what's going on or why? I noticed the same thing the last time this happened - you and a very few others were the only ones who protested about it. Everyone else seemed ok with it and went on their merry ways. I find that a bit odd, don't you?


Last year, the Infidel noted the apathy of the Western press after the Kim Sun-il beheading and subsequent, extensive censorship by the South Korean government. There was very little Korean and international media coverage (exempt from this complaint are the journalists I met/spoke with last year; they did write about the problem-- e.g., Todd and Mark et al.).

This year-- zilch from most of the Koreabloggers, too, excepting those who felt burned last year. I'll be curious to see how the bloggers who started their blogs after last year's censorship decide to handle this. Will they curl up into a little ball? Pretend nothing's going on? Or-- I hope-- get pissed off and stick it to Da Man?

I haven't verified that the Korean government is in fact enacting a ban, but the signs are there.

1. Blocked blogs are accessible through Unipeak, meaning the access problem didn't originate with the blog service providers.

2. Blockage is patchy. Last year, we discovered this was because the government had asked the ISPs to enforce its ban (this after initial government denials that there was a ban at all), and the ISPs had adopted different methods for doing so. This year, like last year, some people haven't noticed any problem at all. Great for them, sucky for the rest of us.

3. Blockage is of entire domains-- in this case, it's apparently Blogspot and Typepad (not This is basically what happened last year.

Perhaps there's something to the theory that the Korean government wants us to shut up this weekend. Perhaps this muzzling is linked with Independence Day, or specifically with the visit by the North Korean delegation (who can slurp my cheesy nads, by the way). Perhaps the censorship will end this coming week.

No matter: send in a complaint to the government. Keep it politely worded or you won't be listened to.

And now, Dear Reader, it's time to go through the attic and pull out some cobwebbed relics. Here's the URL for an old post of mine about last year's censorship (deliberately left un-linked because Unipeak scrambles links):

A reminder about the Sacred Principles of FUCK:

The MIC Fight Song:

Some contact information for you:

Director Ryu Jae-myung (MIC Policy):, (02)750-1411

Or snail mail re: MIC policy:

Cooperation Planning Division
Telecommunication Center Building.
Ministry of Information and Communication 13F, 100 Sejongno,
Jongno-gu, Seoul 100-777, Korea

(I'm not sure you should expect a speedy response from these geniuses.)

Try writing OhMyNews English:

To contact journalist Todd Thacker, who was great last year, find one of the articles he wrote ( and use the "contact reporter" link to send him a message. While I have his email address, I don't think he wants it made public.

Todd's article about me and mein Kampf:

[NB: You'll need to "repair" the above URL, which I severed by hitting "return."]

Try writing the Korea Times:

Or the Korea Herald:

[Contact info is listed at the above URL.]

Or the Chosun Ilbo:

As I recall, other bloggers did great work finding more email addresses to which to send letters of protest. I hope they'll dig back through their archives and post those once again.

Also, I'm afraid I now have to drag out the old banner. Heh. Look up top.



Anonymous said...


I'm glad you take this so seriously. I almost just read your post and clicked on to the next web page, but then I thought about how frustrating it was last summer that no one seemed to care about the censorship we were experiencing. So I took a little time and wrote a few letters. The Korea Times mailbox is full, but I sent letters to the MIC, Chosun, and Korea Herald. Hopefully this blockage won't last as long as the last one!

Beth (in the USA now)

Anonymous said...