Administrative Internet Censorship by Korea Communication Standards Commission
Soongsil Law Review, Vol. 33, January 2015, pp. 91-115
26 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2016
Date Written: December 24, 2014
Korean Communication Standards Commission is one of the few administrative bodies around the world empowered to block or delete contents on Internet like ACMA of Australia, ICTA of Turkey, etc. This paper evaluates KCSC's structure and actions and follows judicial discourse over the agency's validity. It discovers the surprising features such as the fact that its standards of review are not the lawful/unlawfulness of the contents but rather the soundness/unsoundness, "what is necessary for nurturing sound communication ethics", whose lack of clarity borders on upon unconstitutionality. Also, KCSC's decisions are not notified to the posters whose contents are taken down by KCSC, insulating its actions from any appeal or judicial review. However, both of these features are triggered by the agency's desire to take actions free from constitutional constraints through the form of corrective requests, a desire identified long ago by free speech scholars as the reason for frowning upon administrative censorship even if it takes effect post-publication. In the wake of French Constitutional Court's HADOPI decision and Philippine Supreme Court's recent decision on administrative censorship, this paper proposes a discussion toward an international consensus on broadening the concept of censorship to include post-publication administrative censorship.
Keywords: censorship, administrative censorship, prior restraint, Korean Communication Standards Commission, HADOPI, Internet
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