Regulator hints at blocking access to website for digital punishment of crimes

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : September 9, 2020, 12:58 | Updated : September 9, 2020, 12:58

[Captured screenshot of Digital Prison]


SEOUL -- South Korea's top media regulator has pledged action to block access to an anonymous website titled "Digital Prison," which discloses the personal information of notorious sex offenders, child abusers and murderers, amid growing concerns about privacy and false accusations.

Korea Communications Commission (KCC) chairman Han Sang-hyuk said in a parliamentary committee session on September 8 that the watchdog would take action against Digital Prison, describing its content as "defamatory." "Digital Prison is a place for private punishments, which cannot happen in civilized society," he said. "We will first strengthen monitoring and find ways to block access to the site."

Police have launched an investigation to track the operators of Digital Prison. A college student in Seoul was found to have committed suicide on September 3 after his identity was published by Digital Prison. The student had argued through social media that he was the victim of false accusations.

Since its opening in June, the website has disclosed names, details of crimes, ages and their personal background along with photos. The unnamed operator has said in a notice that Digital Prison is aimed at publishing the personal information of "malicious criminals" to put them under social judgment instead of light judicial punishment.

The most notorious figure listed by Digital Prison was Son Jong-woo, the operator of Welcome to Video, which ran one of the world's biggest child porn sites on the darknet from June 2015 until March 2018.

The arbitrary disclosure of personal information through social media constitutes defamation and can receive a prison term of up to five years or a fine of up to 50 million won ($41,816). However, the operator of Digital Prison insisted the website was strongly encrypted and operated by the "Bulletproof Server installed in bunkers in Eastern Europe."
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