Jan 232012
 

This article in the Korea Times reports that several large online presences in Korea have stopped asking for users’ resident registration numbers when subscribing to their sites. They began to ask in 2007 as a means of ensuring compliance with the government’s requirement that users provide their real names. However, the government had no means to enforce that rule on foreign websites, and it has led to instances of identity theft.

Nexon recently had the private data of 13 million users hacked. Nate and Cyworld, its sister social networking service, had 35 million users’ details compromised after being hacked. After a series of private information leaks at large businesses like Nate, Nexon, Auction, and Hyundai Capital, now virtually all the resident registration numbers of Koreans are available.

As they hold the key to entering Internet sites, criminals can collect almost anyone’s details by collecting information from two or three websites, acquiring names, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, office addresses, shopping records, bank account numbers and even blood types.

Some victims submitted a petition to the court last month, requesting they be allowed to change their registration number. “We are on the verge of suffering from more damage as we are forced to continuously use our leaked registration numbers with no countermeasures being taken so far,” the complainants said in their suit.

The Korea Communications Commission is now planning regulation preventing resident numbers from being held online.

Dec 242011
 

The Northhampton Chronicle & Echo has an article about an English mother who was charged with contempt of court after posting on her Facebook profile the judgement by the same judge that had removed two of her children from her custody.  Per the article she also criticized the judge and children’s guardian in eight posts made between August 30 and September 10 and invited 15 friends to comment.  For this she was charged with breaching the Administration of Justice Act 1960 for having revealed the confidential details of the proceeding, as well as the identities of the children and the guardian.  (Notably, the article did not even mention the woman’s name for fear of running afoul of the same law.)

Finding her in contempt of court, Judge Waine said: “I can readily understand it was a somewhat limited number of people and a limited number invited to access it. But the problem I can see from a series of Facebook entries is that … they would be in a position of passing it on to anyone. Once they got to see it, she loses all control of it beyond that invited individual. I have to take the view that this matter is extremely serious and a prison sentence is absolutely inevitable. This is an increasingly common problem and needs to be stamped out. Continue reading »

Dec 182011
 

From AllAfrica.com, news that Ugandans will not be able to use their cell phones if their SIMs are not registered by 2013.

Uganda Communications Commission passed the order on Monday in a statement issued to Daily Monitor in which they announced a sim card registration exercise for all nationals set to begin March 1, next year.

The exercise seeks to check the use of mobile phone numbers for illegal activities, phone theft, unsolicited/hate and threat messages among others. “Failure to register is breach of the law and the service provider shall not provide any communication service to whoever fails or refuses to register,” UCC Manager communications Fred Otunnu said in a phone interview. He said that all unregistered sim cards will be deactivated by the start of 2013; a year after the registration process is complete.

Requirements for registration will be personal identification that shall be provided through a valid passport or employee ID, student ID, voter’s card, valid driver’s license, local council letter or letter from employee. This too applies to foreigners leaving in the country. Continue reading »

Dec 172011
 

From English.news.cn news that China is requiring users of to use their real names when registering for China’s microblogging sites.

According to the rules on Beijing’s microblog management, which went into effect Friday, web users need to give their real names to website administrators before being allowed to put up microblog posts.

Bloggers, however, are free to choose their screen names, said a spokesman with the Beijing Internet Information Office (BIIO), the city’s web content management authority.

“The new rules are aimed at protecting web users’ interests and improving credibility on the web,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Continue reading »