History of Open Net

Founded in January 2013.  In Korea where the government is the main source of restrictions on freedom, privacy, and innovation, individuals and Internet companies often find alliance in each other for regulation on the former squeezes the latter’s market, and regulation on the latter results in private censorship on the former.  As a high tide of restrictions came in 2008-2012, a group of activists, experts, and IT business people began a series of informal conversations on legislative and litigational strategies in response.  The multi-sector alliance resulted in a victory in August 2012 when the Constitutional Court struck down the country’s infamous mandatory internet user identity verification rule, a.k.a, internet “real name” system in a suit orchestrated by PSPD Public Interest Law Center.  In the following mood of festivity, a meeting began in September with a view to replicate the multi-sector effort on a continuing and professional basis on Korea’s other internet woes, between a major corporate donor and two scholar-activists at Korea University Law School, Kim Keechang and Park Kyung-sin who had worked on, among other things, the issues of real name system, the world-famous prosecution of Minerva under the “false news” crime, and the closed on-line banking rules that ostracized foreign and web-standard vendors from the country’s banking system.  Other donors and activists joined in to create an organization of lawyers and activists supported by corporations and individuals intereㄴsted in ‘opening up’ the Korean internet.