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Court Convicts Man for Manipulating No. of Web Hits

Posted April. 20, 2009 08:38,   


Manipulation of the rankings of search records at Internet portals using software designed to increase the number of clicks constitutes obstruction of justice, the Supreme Court said in a ruling yesterday.

A developer of Internet search engines "Lee" used a program to put a company’s Web site address at a higher ranking among Web search frequencies in portals such as Naver and Daum from September 2005 to March 2006. He put in instruction codes in Internet portal servers and caused the search engines to access the company’s Web site, thus manipulating records.

A lower court had ruled that he was not guilty since top ranking search words of Internet portals cannot be construed as being determined based solely on the number of clicks.

An appellate court ruled differently, however, saying, “Sending false information on the number of clicks for a certain company using a special software program could affect the rankings of search words,” and fined Lee three million won (2,252 U.S. dollars), a ruling which the Supreme Court upheld.

The Supreme Court said, “If Lee sent false information on the number of clicks in the statistical servers of portal sites and caused errors in data processing in the course of determining the rankings of search words, he committed obstruction of justice even if the rankings of search words did not change.”