The Https Blocking Policy
The Https Blocking Policy
  • 김선화 기자
  • 승인 2019.04.16 09:00
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Government web rules controversial
(Infographic = By reporter, Gim Seon-hwa) Computer surveillance
(Infographic = By reporter, Gim Seon-hwa) Computer surveillance

 

February 11th, 2019, the Korean government implemented the https blocking policy. This policy is for security and blocking access to harmful websites. This policy has good intentions, however, there are problems and concerns.

There are 895 gambling and pornographic websites that the Korean government has blocked. In fact, Korea has been blocking websites before this new policy was implemented. The government had censored with DNS server response falsification which works well for regular HTTP. Soon, people found out the way to neutralize DNS censorship. They did this by using Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Sockets Layer (HTTPS).

Because of this, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) made a new policy to block harmful HTTPS sites. It uses Server Name Indication (SNI) which uses one Internet Protocol (IP) address to serve many domain names over HTTPS.

Supporters of this policy say that this policy can prevent people from spreading and watching illegal porn, especially child and revenge porn.

However, most Koreans strongly oppose this policy. On the day that the government announced the https blocking policy, a petition against this policy was launched by the Blue House on its official website. During the month, more than two hundred thousand people signed that petition. The petition expressed worries about this kind of censorship; that it limits the freedom of expression. At the same time, many experts also are concerned that uncovering user data packets is not desirable and could invade privacy although most information is encrypted. Also, people already find a way to slip past censorship using SNI. There are many applications which avoid censorship by using SNI, which makes this policy useless. As a result, this policy has now received a lot of criticism although the intention was good.


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