South Korea’s Constitutional Court is striking down a controversial law requiring the use of real names online. The Associated Press reports that the court’s eight judges ruled unanimously that the law was unconstitutional, saying "expressions under anonymity or pseudonym allow (people) to voice criticism on majority opinion without giving into external pressure." It added that "even if there is a side effect to online anonymity, it should be strongly protected for its constitutional value."
Under the "internet real-name system," sites with over 100,000 visitors a day were required to record the names of visitors who posted comments, with national ID numbers used for authentication. But according to The Wall Street Journal, many companies and individuals simply hosted their websites and services overseas in order to get around the country’s law enforcement.
The law was originally passed to curb libellous speech online. Despite being one of the most connected countries in the world, recent crackdowns on internet freedom have placed South Korea on Reporters Without Borders’ "under surveillance" list.