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Yoon to seek revision to ‘Nth room prevention law’ amid allegations of censorship

SEOUL-- Main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol said Sunday he will seek to revise a law designed to filter out illegally filmed content from major internet platforms amid criticism the measure amounts to censorship.

A revision to the Telecommunications Business Act and a related law went into effect on Friday, requiring large internet platforms with annual sales of 1 billion won or the number of daily users 100,000 or more to remove illegal content from their servers.

The revision was made last year amid public outrage over revelations that underage girls were coerced into obscene acts in front of cameras and the footage was shared in pay-to-view online chat rooms in what was dubbed the "Nth room" incident.

The law revision is also called the "Nth room prevention law."

But the legislation has spurred censorship criticism, with the leader of the main opposition People Power Party likening it to the government opening the letter envelopes of all people to make sure no illegal content is exchanged.

On Sunday, PPP presidential candidate Yoon said his party will seek to amend the related laws again in a way that prevents crimes and ensures privacy is not violated.

"The Nth room prevention law lacks the ability to prevent another Nth room crime, but gives an absolute majority of innocent people fears of censorship," he said in a Facebook post. "Article 18 of the Constitution stipulates that the confidentiality of correspondence of all people should not be violated."

Yoon's ruling party rival, Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party, has defended the revised law, saying it does not amount to censorship because freedom of expression should be exercised in ways that do not infringe upon other people's rights.

"What I'm doing for fun should not give pain to other people," he said during a meeting with college students in the central city of Gumi. "In the case of the Nth room obscene materials, too much damage is done to other people compared to the freedom exercised."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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