The Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the National Alliance for Creating a Beautiful Internet World (Ainse) held a ceremony to declare June 11-16 as “Ainse 2012 Week.”
Among the approximately 300 people on hand at the ceremony at the Seoul Press Center on June 11 were KCC Chairman Lee Kye-cheol; KISA President Simon Suh (Suh Jong-ryeol); Ainse member company representatives and officials; and Korea Internet Stars.
The ceremony, organized by the National Ainse Council composed of 78 government agencies, internet companies and civic organizations, also coincided with performances and an event for taking a five-point pledge to create a beautiful internet world, Dr. Yoo Jin-ho, head of KISA's Internet Culture Development Division, said.
Korea, which introduced the internet to its citizens 30 years ago, has now risen to one of the world’s most advanced IT infrastructures and highest internet penetration rates. The wireless internet has enjoyed explosive growth, stretching from the PC monitor to devices both large and small, including the four-inch smartphone, the 10-inch tablet and the more than 40 inch TV screen, as well as digital signage and the automobile navigator.
The ubiquitous connection of the internet has created a wide range of new services and enhanced the quality of life of people due to the widespread use of smartphones and social network services (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter -- the upside of the internet associated with creativity, freedom, and diversity.
But the downside of the internet is that abusive comments, false accusations, slander, and defamation are committed in cyberspace under thick layers of anonymity and secrecy, causing social headaches of late.
One out of every three primary school pupils in Korea said he or she would make malicious comments in cyberspace simply to relieve stress, and one-fourth of the respondents replied that such abusive behaviors are not perceived as “causing trouble,” according to a survey conducted by the educational company Novel & Kaemi in October 2009.
More surprisingly, one out of two Korean youth, or 47.7 percent of the respondents, said they wielded “language violence” on others in cyberspace, according to the KBS-TV Chase 60 Minutes Program aired this past August.
Another side effect of the internet of late is the resurgence of a new type of cyberspace violence related to the wider use of SNS such as defamation, privacy infringements, and malicious cyberspace comments.
Smartphones and SNS, which have spread information much more swiftly compared to conventional means, brings about serious damages such as revelations of personal information and privacy infringements.
Figures released by the National Police Agency showed that 989 personal information infringement and 1,039 cyberspace defamation cases were reported during the two-month period from April through May 2010, representing a 50 percent and 62 percent jump over the same period in 2009, respectively.
For instance, entertainers such as Choi Jin-shil and Song Ji-sun committed suicide over malicious and scandalous cyberspace comments in October 2008 and May 2011. False information cases were seized upon, like the postings of a false conscription order in May 2010 and an order to mobilize reserve forces in May 2011. Reckless revelations of personal information have been posted like the April 2011 postings of the now-defunct lee-zia.com, a website designed to create public scandals related to entertainer Lee Jia, who was once a live-in girlfriend of the superstar Seotaiji.
The internet was also used as a place to provide information on how to commit crimes as was the case of the homemade bombs detonated at the Seoul Railroad Station and the Gangnam Bus Terminal made using information off the internet. Abnormal social organizations such as fan cafes supporting sexual violence and murderers emerged in cyberspace in April 2011.
Of late, cyberbullying acts such as group blockading of peers’ messengers, opening internet “anti-cafes,” refusing to “friend” others online, and making malicious comments among youths have emerged as social issues in Korea and globally.
Cyberbullying refers to committing hostile group activities with the intention to inflict damage upon others such as sending malicious comments, accusations, slander, and threats via e-mail, mobile phones, text messages, and websites.
Ainse 2012 Week events
Ainse 2012 Week, the third of its kind since 2010, was designed to create a desirable internet environment, build a pan-national consensus for the cause of creating a beautiful internet world, and spread the participation of the public in its campaign drives.
Specifically speaking, Ainse 2012 Week showcased 48 diverse anniversary events including a street campaign for creating a beautiful internet world on June 11; a ceremony for donating PCs for the underprivileged on “Helping Each Day, Internet Day” on June 12; educational program for elderly netizens on June 13; and KISA’s seminar on the spread of sound SNS communities on June 14.
T-ara, the seven-member singing group, has become the “public relations ambassador of Ainse SNS” to campaign against cyber violence and a flood of illegal, malicious information via SNS. The group has participated in Ainse SNS campaigns.
KCC Chairman Lee, citing the seriousness of the internet’s downside woes such as cyber violence among youths, malicious comments, and internet addiction, stressed that internet users should change the way they use the internet on their own.
KISA has carried out diverse activities to control the proliferation of malicious comments, information leaks, and breaches of privacy by fostering a positive internet environment.
KISA ‘AINSE, Sharing PCs of Love’
KISA held a ceremony to deliver 58 donated PCs to the underprivileged and basic living security beneficiaries at the KISA Academy on June 12.
The ceremony, held under the catchphrase “Helping Each Other, Internet Day,” was part of the Ainse 2012 Week anniversary events. It was jointly organized by the Headquarters of Sending PCs of Love and SK Communications.
KISA President Suh said, “KISA plans to expand social contribution activities to give a helping hand to the underprivileged, who have been left without the benefits of IT, including the basic living security beneficiaries and girls and boy without parents.”
‘Education on the Creation of a Beautiful Internet World for Silver Netizens’
KISA offered an educational program for elderly netizens at the KISA Academy on June 13.
KISA organized the education program for the elderly in cooperation with the Silver Net Drive Headquarters, one of the National Ainse Alliance member organizations. The program handled such topics as net etiquette, how to cope with cyberspace violence, and how to teach sound internet ethics. The program was designed to expand education on internet ethics, limited to children to youth, to cover elderly people, thus narrowing the digital divide among generations and preventing a lack of education about the internet.
KISA held seminars on social writing for spreading sound SNS communities and how to use social content at the KISA Academy on June 14.
The seminars, held under the theme “Safe Internet Day,” included one designed to spread sound social communities and one to strengthen internet ethics.
KISA and university cyber security students’ groups toured welfare halls and conducted campaigns to ensure cyberspace security. KISA and Korea Internet Stars toured the Internet Ethics Experience Pavilion at Expo 2012 Yeosu. #