By Yun Suh-young
The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that the Information Communications Law requiring the use of real names online was unconstitutional, setting the stage for scrapping the policy which was implemented in 2007.
The court made a unanimous decision that the law violated people's freedom of speech.
A petition filed by "Internet Media Today," an online media company, among others in 2010, claimed that the law was discriminatory.
Until now, websites with more than 100,000 visitors per day required users to authenticate their identities by entering their resident ID numbers when they used portals or other sites.
The policy was set up in an effort to curb malicious comments online that had led, in cases, to people committing suicide.
"The system does not seem to have been beneficial to the public. Despite the enforcement of the system, the number of illegal or malicious postings online has not decreased," the court said in its verdict.
“Instead, users moved to foreign websites and the system became discriminatory against domestic operators. It also prevented foreigners who didn’t have a resident registration number here from expressing their opinions online."
Meanwhile, the court upheld the law that punished midwives who conducted abortion on pregnant women, saying that it was constitutional.