Fuming S. Korea looking for way to punish Google

South Korea is in an "uproar" over Google's attempts to sidestep a "real name" requirement imposed on websites and is investigating legal action against the company.

Google Korea

After Google issued an official raspberry to South Korea - by sidestepping its "real name" law by simply disabling comments and uploads - the Korean government has taken to pounding the table and turning beet red. Korean reporter Koo Bonkwo sent me an email with his latest report on the situation. The Hankyoreh reports that the Korea Communications Commission is "in an uproar" over Google's actions. According to an unnamed official at KCC:

The people higher up said that they could not just leave Google alone and told us to find something to punish them with, so the related team is researching possible illegalities.

At a meeting of a National Assembly committee that deals with communciations, KCC chairman Choi See-joong, railed to members:

They are speaking as though Korea is a backwards Internet nation that is intensifying its Internet censorship. Why are you just standing around doing nothing?

He added that plans were underway to “send a message of severe dismay to Google about their terribly commercial approach with which it has tried to deceive people by a transparent guile.”

Looks like Google has scored a victory for marketshare as well as "freedom of expression in South Korea’s Internet culture," as Google Korea Unit head Lee Won-jin put it on a TV appearance. The article quotes local portals who say they are "jealous but distressed."

"South Korean businesses will have to endure criticism from users while following unwanted regulations,” [one portal] official said.