Identity on line and Korea

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Identification verification required for online boards
New rules may reduce slander on the net

As of June 27, South Korea’s major Internet portal operators, including Naver and Daum, are being required to verify the identification of anyone who attempts to leave a comment on their online bulletin boards. According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, a ‘‘limited real-name system’’ will be introduced to major portal operators on a trial basis, before being fully enforced later next month, when a total of 35 Internet business operators will be subject to the new regulation.

Under the new system, web surfers will need to undergo a identification-verification process before being allowed to leave comments on online bulletin boards. In the past, users were allowed to use these services without having to verify their identities. It is assumed that the new requirement will reduce anonymous cyber-slander.

Those under age 14 will need the approval of their legal representatives in order to get their identification verified. Foreigners will be able to use the Foreigner Registration Numbers that they received upon entering the country.

‘‘For the time being, visitors to our site will see a pop-up window, prompting them to enter their Resident Registration Numbers for verification,’’ a Naver spokesperson said. ‘‘Without proper identification, they will be limited to personal services, such as email, short messages, blogs and communities.’’



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