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Laws to Get Tougher on Web Fraud

Posted August. 21, 2008 06:31,   


The nation’s media watchdog will prohibit inflation of the number of clicks on Web ads and manipulation of Internet search rankings.

The Korea Communications Commission said yesterday that it will submit to the National Assembly in November a revised law on the promotion of information networks and data protection.

Advertisers have paid large fees due to “false clicks” on ads. An advertiser pays Web companies according to the number of clicks on ads.

Companies who spend about one million won on Web ads suspect they are charged for false clicks. In the United States, 28.3 percent of the clicks are said to be false.

The commission will also ban the manipulation of search rankings on major Web portals. Ill-intentioned groups of netizens have searched specific keywords repeatedly to propel them to the top of the rankings.

"The measure will secure objectiveness and fairness of search rankings and prevent falsely ranked keywords from becoming social issues,” said a commission source.

Those committing false clicks and keyword ranking manipulation will face a prison term of up to a year and a fine of up to 10 million won (10,000 U.S. dollars) under the revised law.

On Web postings temporarily removed from the Web over libel fears, if a user files a complaint with the committee over a post, the watchdog will decide whether to restore or remove the post permanently within seven days of the complaint.

This comes in the wake of a newly added provision requiring Web portals to temporarily eliminate malicious posts. Critics say the provision will increase unnecessary requests for elimination and undermine freedom of expression.

Web site operators will also have to notify users when their personal information is leaked by hackers.

When shutting down e-mail service for upgrade, Internet companies should inform users 30 days before the shutdown to prevent private information leakage. Police will also receive the right to access data on an individual’s whereabouts if necessary for a criminal investigation.