14:27 GMT18 May 2021
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    South Korea's communications watchdog has banned restricted access to IS-related web content after an 18-year old South Korean disappeared in Turkey, possibly to join the Islamic State in Syria.

    MOSCOW, January 22 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — South Korea's Communications Standards Commission, the state's Internet censorship body, has restricted access to online resources related to the Islamic State.

    "South Korea's communications watchdog said Thursday [January 22] it banned local access to 29 online postings related to the Islamic State (IS), the latest result of government monitoring of potential contacts with terrorist groups," Yonhap reported.

    The commission elaborated that it also banned Twitter postings titled "ISIS Jobs openings," aimed at recruiting hackers, programmers and various specialists.

    "We will be monitoring and blocking online content that encourages joining criminal organizations or assists readers to plan terrorist attacks," the watchdog stated, as cited by the Korea Observer media source.

    South Korea's authorities are currently bolstering their control over social media network sites, banning content aimed at encouraging people to conduct terror actions or join Islamist cells. The move came after 18-year-old Kim, a South Korean national, disappeared in the southern Turkish town of Kilis on January 10, and possibly crossed the Syrian border in order to join a jihadist group.

    It is believed Kim could have established connections with Islamists through a friend linked to the Islamic State.

    The government of South Korea came under blistering public criticism for its failure to prevent Kim from joining Islamists fighting in Syria: the young man had been repeatedly expressed his intention to travel to the Middle Eastern war zone and join jihadi fighters on his Twitter and Facebook pages since October 2014.

    South Korea's new legislation bans the spread of any "information, including racism, genocide, terrorism, and others, that can significantly threaten international peace and order," Yonhap notes.

    However, the Korea Observer cites critics as saying that the move will deal a heavy blow to South Korea's freedom of speech and expression.


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