On October 31, 2013, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) blocked access to the music streaming site, grooveshark.com, making it impossible to access the site in Korea. This outrageous decision completely blocking users’ access even to lawful contents heavily restricts users’ fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, right to access information, and right to enjoy culture. The decision is based on the Act on the Establishment and Operation of the Korean Communications Commission, empowering KCSC to delete or block access to certain online information when it is necessary “to promote sound communications ethics.” KCSC abused its power by blocking grooveshark.com entirely, on the ground that the site may contain copyright infringing materials. KCSC is incapable of considering complicated legal issues involved with each infringement: one of the reasons is that it deliberates on more than 2,000 cases in 30 minutes. Moreover, KCSC sacrificed the procedural justice by refusing to hear Grooveshark itself and tens of thousands of its users for administrative expediency. Internet censorship by administrative authorities must be abolished eventually. Meanwhile, KCSC should revise its communications standards in a way to limit its excessive power and to guarantee the right to hearing.
Read Korean original here.