South Korea: The State of Human Rights in South Korea in 2011

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In the fourth year of Mr. Lee Myung Bak’s presidency, many corruption related cases have recently been reported, with flawed investigations however. While South Korea has a law criminalizing corruption, its scope is limited and narrow, only covering acts relating to official duty. As reported in our previous report (2010), one right that has seriously deteriorated under Lee Myung Bak is the freedom of expression. This will further worsen with the government’s intention to restrict the freedom of expression and opinion over the internet as well. South Korea has a large number of internet users, with a significant amount of communication occurring through the internet. After one particular podcast criticizing the government and President had the highest downloads globally, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) introduced an organ with exclusive control over the Social Network Service (SNS) and application for smart phones in early December.