Monday, August 15, 2005

Gee whiz, that Goshdarn MIC

I feel a little like the Mel Gibson character in 'Signs'. In the movie, he had been a priest; when chasing vandals (or aliens) from his house, he tried to sound angry but just couldn't bring himself to curse.

So now I feel very self-conscious about complaining about the MIC censoring and blocking access to several blog domains because I'm not one for cursing.

At first, I didn't realize there was a nation-wide problem (apparently a patchy, nationwide problem, some ISPs still allow connections) and simply thought my school was having blogger problems. Last weekend I was home and found I was unable to connect from there either. Finally I found a backdoor and read other 'blogspot' sites and learned the extent of the blockage.

From the bighominid (no specific link because my proxy server chews up the addresses):
This year-- zilch from most of the Koreabloggers, too,
excepting those who felt burned last year. I'll be curious to see how the
bloggers who started their blogs after last year's censorship decide to handle
this. Will they curl up into a little ball? Pretend nothing's going on? Or-- I
hope-- get pissed off and stick it to Da Man?

I haven't verified that the Korean government is in
fact enacting a ban, but the signs are there.

1. Blocked blogs are accessible through Unipeak,
meaning the access problem didn't originate with the blog service

2. Blockage is patchy. Last year, we discovered this
was because the government had asked the ISPs to enforce its ban (this after
initial government denials that there was a ban at all), and the ISPs had
adopted different methods for doing so. This year, like last year, some people
haven't noticed any problem at all. Great for them, sucky for the rest of

3. Blockage is of entire domains-- in this case, it's
apparently Blogspot and Typepad (not This is basically what happened
last year.

I really wonder why we are being blocked. We ex-pat bloggers in general are not a subversive bunch; some of us disagree with government actions and policies but no more so than Korean citizens. We are unlikely to persuade many Koreans to our viewpoints as our blogs are mostly in English. I personnally have four blogsites, three of which are used exclusively for communicating with my students and contain no politics. My own site is much more likely to have tourist info or Canadian politics than Korean politics.

MIC (I think that's Ministry of Information and Communication), why are you doing this?

1 comment:

Kevin said...

A few bloggers have resisted the implication that the MIC is behind the current blockage (now just blogs). Me, I'm not so sure-- it stinks of what happened last year, and dovetails with some folks' suspicion that the blockage was somehow related to Independence Day and the NK delegation's presence.

I'm (grudgingly) open to the possibility that the MIC wasn't behind this, but suspicious of the idea that the blockage is just some sort of fluke.

Thanks, by the way, for blogging about this.