Apparently porn is only the latest target.
(HT to kuiwon, who probably has slightly different feeling about this than I)
In the Korea Herald, John Power ventures into the debate on porn:
To some, it’s a harmless pleasure. To others, it’s a societal ill. Pornography, for better or worse, is a prevalent reality in Korea. Yet, unusually for a developed democracy, it remains largely illegal here. While possessing or viewing porn is not a crime, the production, selling or displaying of materials deemed obscene is a jailable offense.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Constitution protects “indecent” sexual expression that does not reach the level of “obscenity,” holding that the former contains “social value.” On a day-to-day basis, however, a complex regulatory framework decides what is and is not fit for public consumption. Multiple government or semi-governmental agencies are involved in the process, including various ministries, the Korea Communications Commission, Korea Communication Standards Commission and Korea Media Rating Board. The government-run KCC regulates the overall television, radio and Internet environments, with the president-appointed, nine-member KCSC tasked with removing specific online content.
Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous the government is treating its people like children, especially for the reasons cited. It’s authoritarian, patronizing and just plain lazy.
PS: That Jae Gi-sung fellow is quite the character.
In a piece relating to the killing of 10-year-old Han Areum in Tongyeong by a convicted sex offender, Ye Olde Chosun—noting that child porn was found in the offender’s home—complains about Korea’s loose handling of child porn.
In theory, the current law calls for five years in prison for anyone who produces or imports/exports porn featuring underage individuals, and three years for those who distribute or display it. If you’re in possession of it, you can be fined up to 20 million won.
Not one person has ever been punished for possession child porn in Korea, where such material is easily obtainable via P2P services or online hard disks. The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation said according to 2009 numbers, Korea had the world’s fifth largest amount of kiddie porn.