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NIS Reviewed 2,924 Private Documents Last August

Posted August. 03, 2007 06:20,   


During the month of August last year, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) reviewed a whopping 2,924 cases concerning the private information of Korean citizens. Last August was the month the NIS’s “anti-corruption task force” reviewed the real estate trading information of Kim Jae-jeong, the former Seoul mayor’s brother-in-law.

Personal information collected for that month from the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA) included 1,853 resident registration cases, 784 electronic family composition cases, 284 land trading cases, and three land registration cases.

This information was unveiled by Lee Sang-bae (GNP), a Government Administration & Home Affairs Committee under the National Assembly, after looking up the monthly statistics of administration information reviewed by government offices accumulated at the administration information joint center.

Suspicions are brewing as 89.4%, or 2,614 cases, were reviewed by the NIS department under the first deputy-chief in charge of overseas investigations. The first deputy-chief last August was Kim Mahn-bok, who is the incumbent chief of the NIS.

Under Kim, 1,543 cases of resident registrations, 784 cases of electronic family compositions, 284 cases of land trading, and three cases of land registration were reviewed. Only 19 cases of resident registration information were reviewed under Lee Sahng-eop, the second deputy-chief who was in charge of domestic investigations.

For these reasons, some suspect that the NIS lied to explain its involvement in the reviewing of Kim’s real estate trading information. The NIS had said, “The 5th level employee who reviewed that information worked at the anti-corruption task force, which was overseen by the second deputy-chief.”

In response, the NIS said, “Checking out personal information was conducted only when it was related to what the NIS does, including identity screening, industrial espionage prevention, and anti-communism activities. We cannot give you specific answers because of the nature of our work. We will cooperate earnestly with prosecutors if necessary.”

The MOGAHA eliminated all the related statistics on its web site after it found out that the NIS had reviewed personal information. Lawmaker Lee said that the MOGAHA refused to disclose how many cases of personal information the NIS had reviewed before last August.