Korean Porn Censorship Meets its Match with New App

porn time, Korea, porn, censor, KCSC

Erotic Content Censorship in Korea

Many living in Korea will know that sites with erotic videos and even nude photography are banned. While in most Western countries the ability to view sexually explicit material is considered a right ensured along with freedom of speech, the production, distribution and possession of porn is illegal in Korea. No, we’re not talking about North Korea. This is the democratic South we’re talking about here.

The Korean Porn Internet Censors: KCSC

KCSC Warning

The South Korean government blocks pornography through the Korea Communication Standards Commission – or the KCSC. Established in 2008, the KCSC is charged with patrolling the Internet and exercising censorship where they deem necessary. This censorship is most prominently exercised on North Korean propaganda, but often crosses over into other areas. The KCSC has come under fire from the likes of independent watchdog organization Freedom House for “several incidents in recent years in which content that was apparently disseminated in the public interest was nevertheless deleted.” When censorship is an entrenched policy, a slide down the slippery slope is a constant temptation.

New App Technology Makes Korea’s Censorship a Challenge

The controversial open source app project Popcorn Time has become the next challenge in protecting intellectual property that started with Napster and continues today with other torrent sites. The difference is that these new options no longer have you download the material via torrent, but instead stream the content directly to a video player built into the app. The viewer is never in possession of any illegal material, making it even harder to catch offenders.

Considering that the country is historically known for its extremely high levels of porn consumption, domestic “netizens” are likely already responsible a portion of the quick growth in downloads of the new app.

Porn Time’s First Month

porn time, Korea, porn, censor, KCSC

Begun on June 7th, 2015, Porn Time is changing the erotic video viewing landscape. Within less than a month the app has over 1,000,000 downloads, perhaps even more than the original Popcorn Time in the same period. The question quickly becomes how will the KCSC police this new avenue of delivery. While they can block sites domestically, blocking programs or apps from being downloaded is another story. Although they haven’t as of yet, they can certainly block the original site. The program itself, however, will still be easy to distribute and obtain through file sharing, and with the massive domestic Internet penetration (no pun intended), the app will certainly proliferate at a rate that the KCSC could never keep up with.

 

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