Despite constitutional protection and the presence of a vibrant and diverse media sector, academics and activists in South Korea report freedom of expression has been severely constrained by restrictive laws including the National Security Law (NSL). The current government has made unashamedly robust use of the NSL to suppress dissent and persecute individuals who hold views critical of the government. Defamation is a criminal offense, and carries sentences of up to seven years in prison. On the other hand, physical attacks and the harassment of journalists are not common occurrences. Although internet penetration is very high, users face censorship and numerous laws restricting different aspects of digital activity.