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South Korea demands answers after Google service outage

Google's system outage in South Korea Monday drew a response from Seoul's regulators after the passage of a new telecommunications law. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/8da3d8e999a07ee2e288617aeab2b4b2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Google's system outage in South Korea Monday drew a response from Seoul's regulators after the passage of a new telecommunications law. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- An outage of all Google services in South Korea is drawing the attention of Seoul's regulators, who say they are reviewing the service failure and whether the tech giant will be held accountable under a new telecommunications law.

The 45-minute blackout of Google's services, including YouTube, took place on Monday evening. The new law, dubbed the "Netflix law" in Korea, includes provisions for remuneration for financial losses, but Google may not face any damage claims, the Hankyoreh reported Tuesday.

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The service outage has drawn a response from Seoul's science ministry.

"In order to determine the cause of Google's service failure, we will request the submission of data," the ministry said. Seoul also said they will notify South Korean users of Google services of the interruption.

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Google is under greater scrutiny under South Korea's new Telecommunications Business Act, which went into effect on Dec. 10, according to JoongAng Daily Tuesday.

The law states content providers, both foreign and domestic, will be held responsible for outages. The law also gives more powers to regulators to demand data and resolution of issues that affect Korean consumers. Refusal to cooperate with regulators can lead to a fine of about $9,100.

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The outage on Monday is not likely to lead to compensation. The law stipulates a service failure must last four hours or longer for damage claims.

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Google issued a notification at the time of the outage Monday, which lasted from 8:47 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., according to reports.

"Google experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes due to an internal storage quota issue," the firm said.

"We apologize to everyone affected, and we will conduct a thorough follow-up review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future."

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South Korea's new telecommunications law was passed after reports of lack of accountability from global tech giants drew criticism in Korea, according to News 1.

The law covers firms that draw more than 1 million users daily and account for at least 1% of domestic Internet traffic.

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