Saturday, May 2, 2009

You Tube Cripples Itself to Protect Korean Users

You Tube Cripples Itself to Protect Korean Users


Last week, YouTube responded in unprecedented fashion to demands by a foreign government. Recent Korean legislation requires sites to verify users’ citizen identity numbers before allowing them to post any publicly viewable content on a Korean web site. That covers even a simple comment on a news story, so as for uploading a video to YouTube? — don’t even think about trying to be anonymous.

Rather than comply with what’s widely perceived as a privacy invasion, Google elected to voluntarily disable comments and video uploads from Korean user accounts. That way Koreans can use the site passively and anonymously. The company event went so far as to spell out that Korean users are free to choose a different country setting when they want to participate more fully in the site. After choosing a different country they can then set the language to Korean and then upload and comment away like normal.

YouTube has had to deal with a barrage of government demands in the last few years, facing shutdowns in India, Turkey, and Brazil, and once Pakistan’s attempt to block the site lead to a global outage. YouTube has at times responded by limiting local access to its site, but in a way that complies government demands rather than skating around them. For instance, in 2006, it censored defamatory videos of Thailand’s king in order to keep the rest of its site available to Thai users.
See original story here....

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