IT Policy & Internet Development in South Korea
Socio and technical aspects of the internet can have far-reaching social-economic consequences. Public Policy making is also significantly affected by the internet’s socio & technical characteristics. In other words, adequate understanding of such unique aspects of internet is the most critical factor in the field of IT Policy making. That’s why public policy governing IT fields is different from other fields of policy areas. From this perspective, one of the most difficult questions now confronting IT policy decision makers is whether or not existing policy approach is applicable to deal with the emergence of internet-based society. As an effort to answer this question, I will investigate the case of internet development in S. Korea by examining following issues; first, what are the roles of S. Korea internet policy in the transformation of S. Korea into Internet-based society?; second, if not S. Korean government, then who has played a key role in making such transformation? the public, IT & computer industries, or other actors/social factors?; third, are there any on-going struggles in formulating internet policy among stakeholders? If so, how to solve it?; fourth, what are the major concerns about current IT policy making and legislation or problems regarding internet development/regulation in S. Korea? Based on this investigation, I will argue that new policy framework seems to be needed in S. Korea. In order to support this argument and make conclusions, I will emphasize that it is necessary to consider how to determine cyberspace and how to regulate/construct it in the new context of the internet so as to accomplish societal objectives when existing public policies on IT & telecom areas do not fit and cannot easily be adapted to solve internet problems.
Keywords: Internet Governance, IT policy and development, South Korea, Internet-based society
Gouk Tae Kim
Ph.D. Student, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech