Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 14:09:42 +0200
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Eric Lee <ericlee@EINDOR.ORG.IL>
Subject: Censorship in South Korea

Censorship in South Korea

From Eric Lee <ericlee@EINDOR.ORG.IL>, 22 October 1997

The South Korean government has banned access to Geocities -- -- which hosts some 1,000,000 websites, including some important trade union sites. The South Korean government claims that some home pages at Geocities contain illegal information about North Korea. Byoung-Il Oh, President of the Social Information Networking Group (SING) -- -- is asking for all those who care about freedom to resist this attempt to impose censorship on the Internet. SING is organizing the LabourMedia 97 conference due to begin next month in Seoul. In support of SING's efforts, let me make some practical suggestions -- some things that I have done today and that I suggest you do too:

  1. Write to the President of South Korea, Kim Young Sam --

    My own letter read: "I have recently learned that upon instructions of the Korean government, Internet Service Providers in your country are now blocking access to the Geocities website -- the home to more than 1,000,000 people around the world with sites there (among them are an estimated 1,000 Koreans). "As a long term 'resident' of Geocities, I believe that such an action is a form of brutal censorship, totally in conflict with your democratic pretensions. I encourage you to remove such a ban at once."

  2. Write to the people in charge at Geocities -- encourage them to mobilize their million "homesteaders" in defense of a free and open Internet. You can do this from the following page:
  3. Post messages to a Geocities Forum -- let people who use Geocities know about this attempt to shut them off. I've already posted a first message to:
  4. When the Internet is shut off, there's always CNN. I've sent a strong letter to the CNN "Computer Connection" program urging them to cover this story. I suggest others do so too. Their email address is: Maybe we can get them to mention this, and embarrass the Seoul government.
  5. Tell SING about your activities. They need to know that they are not alone. Write to them: and

Eric Lee,
Kibbutz Ein Dor, Israel
Personal home page:
PGP Public Key: see personal home page (above)
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