The South Korean government is planning to temporarily block services of global IT companies such as Google and Facebook if they violate domestic laws or cause significant damage to users.
The government’s move comes amid growing criticism of global IT companies for neglecting their social responsibilities in the South Korean market despite their huge annual sales here. In addition, the National Tax Service of South Korea is closely monitoring those companies.
The Korea Communications Commission held a policy consultation meeting on Dec. 13 and made public its report containing such plans. The report is scheduled to be finalized on Dec. 26, and then the government will refer to the report in policymaking processes.
According to the report, Internet-related laws such as the Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection need to adopt extraterritorial application so that foreign Internet service providers violating domestic laws can be punished based on domestic laws. The legal basis of the advice is the fact that the Fair Trade Act already adopted extraterritorial application based on an international agreement.
Also, the report advised the government to temporarily block Internet services when they cause significant damage to users in the form of illegal content distributed through online and mobile platforms. In addition, the report advised the government to change systems so that foreign IT companies’ value added common carrier report for Internet service provision in South Korea can be under the name of their headquarters instead of local branches.