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The Information Age: North Korean Style

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the disinformation-superhighway dept.

The Internet 156

An anonymous reader writes "It seems cell phones and the internet have come to the reclusive nation of North Korea — albeit in a manner that you might not expect. North Korea now sports over a million cell phones, although calls are not allowed outside of the country and text messages come daily from North Korean authorities sporting government propaganda. The internet is not the global internet of Twitter and Facebook, but a government-crafted intranet that is restricted to just a tiny percentage of the population. The intranet is restricted to elites in North Korea with good standing. The intranet uses message boards, chat functions, and state sponsored messages; its use has also been encouraged among universities, technical professionals and scientists, and others to exchange info. An even smaller fraction can access the outside internet. All of this seems to be an effort to control the information revolution without losing authority."

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A Revolution without Losing Authority? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41931509)

All of this seems to be an effort to control the information revolution without losing authority.

Let's just stop and think for a minute about that sentence.

A controlled revolution isn't really a revolution (unless you buy the propaganda of those controlling it). Furthermore the only "revolutions" I can think of that were actually controlled or orchestrated are coups d'état [wikipedia.org] which is a special kind of revolution. Unlike ousting a former government and installing just a new regime, the information revolution [wikipedia.org] is about fundamentally altering our class system from the bottom up. It is directly applied to the masses and by definition is difficult to control (look at China have fun with that). The reason I balk at the idea that anyone could control this is that you can't even show evidence of the information revolution except by way of anecdotes (just examples) and socioeconomic trends in a vast populace (better). How do you control that which is hard to detect?

So I don't think you can control the information revolution (hence the reason it's called a revolution, it's happening whether those in control want it to or not). You can either let it happen or you fight it. And I feel like North Korea is doing simply the latter. Of course, the sentence from the summary bemuses me beyond most things I read ... but then again I guess that's also the case with anything I find on North Korea.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (2, Funny)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 2 years ago | (#41931547)

Its not that simple. The unwashed masses does not become educated just because they got a education. The unwashed masses does not want a revolution either, if by the time they realize they are unwashed, they are not having a hard time living their live. North Korea is changing, perhaps fighting this change, but at the same time welcoming the change.
Will North Korea become Best Korea? Well, if it does, the Internet have a problem, I mean, who shall replace North Korea as a meme?

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41931943)

Its not that simple. The unwashed masses does not become educated just because they got a education. The unwashed masses does not want a revolution either

Oh, the hilarious irony! More? "Is you a unwashed mass, del_diablo?"

(Played for humor only, I suspect English isn't your native language, although you do a lot better than many native speakers at slashdot! Mi Espanol no es muy bueno...)

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (4, Funny)

dintech (998802) | about 2 years ago | (#41931993)

who shall replace North Korea as a meme?

Cheer up, we've still got Iran. :)

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41932567)

who shall replace North Korea as a meme?

Cheer up, we've still got Iran. :)

China, don't forget China! Even France can fit the bill if necessary. Come to think of it, pretty much any country other than the one you currently live in will work.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | about 2 years ago | (#41932741)

Yeah, but we all know that's only going to be for another six months before shit goes down. Then what?

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (5, Interesting)

durrr (1316311) | about 2 years ago | (#41931845)

With the ever present wireless tech availible, and a relatively small country like NK next to super-teched SK, it's only a matter of time before enough information spills over to either forcibly induce change or through cooperation with the leadership.

SK should put a series of 200 meter high towers with ultra strength directional-antenna open wifi beacons along the DMZ. I mean, why?, the SK soldiers along the DMZ should be able to watch starcraft streams on their phones of course! What?, dirty NK pirates stealing their bandwidth! atrocious, lets put a password("1234") to prevent those dirty thieves from stealing their positively overspecced bandwidth.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 years ago | (#41932055)

NK would call SK out for doing that, and quite rightly so. There are ways to help, and actively pissing NK is not one of them.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (4, Informative)

NEW22 (137070) | about 2 years ago | (#41932471)

And quite rightly so? Hell, NK has a fake city set up that actively blared propaganda into SK via loudspeaker for years. Popped off some artillery at a SK island setting fire to buildings a couple years back. Oh, and kidnappings. That's the easy stuff off the top of my head. For SK to retaliate with free Wi-fi would, in comparison, clearly be an appalling violation of NK sovereignty!

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about 2 years ago | (#41932597)

It probably would violate some status quo and the NK would feel compelled to retaliate in some way, shape or form.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | about 2 years ago | (#41932757)

What this guy said. "Dave420" has clearly been drinking the bong water.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41932101)

SK should put a series of 200 meter high towers with ultra strength directional-antenna open wifi beacons along the DMZ.

Hi, could you take a seat over there? I'm here with BUTU's new reality TV show, "to catch a violator of the laws of physics," and the physics police are waiting outside. I just want to ask you a few questions. Do you think it is appropriate for a /. reader like yourself to just violate the conservative of energy like that?

(OK, jokes aside, the more gain an antenna has, the more directional it needs to be. Thus, if you had a 75dBi antenna [which would be impractically large for 2.4GHz], you would get amazing range but only in a very tiny area, and otherwise you would have no appreciable reception.)

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41932705)

SK should put a series of 200 meter high towers with ultra strength directional-antenna open wifi beacons along the DMZ.

Hi, could you take a seat over there? I'm here with BUTU's new reality TV show, "to catch a violator of the laws of physics," and the physics police are waiting outside. I just want to ask you a few questions. Do you think it is appropriate for a /. reader like yourself to just violate the conservative of energy like that? (OK, jokes aside, the more gain an antenna has, the more directional it needs to be. Thus, if you had a 75dBi antenna [which would be impractically large for 2.4GHz], you would get amazing range but only in a very tiny area, and otherwise you would have no appreciable reception.)

Maybe not, but 25dbi antennas for 12.5cm are widely available. I've seen manufactured antennae for sale that claim to give 50dbi at this wavelength. In a relatively quiet environment you can get several km from even a 15dbi dipole setup; 25 or 50 would do the job. Obviously none of these are omni, but you wouldn't want or need omni for this application anyway.

Not that I'm saying I think this is a good idea - but if SK had the will to do it, it probably could be done.

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41932121)

With the ever present wireless tech availible, and a relatively small country like NK next to super-teched SK, it's only a matter of time before enough information spills over to either forcibly induce change or through cooperation with the leadership.

That might work for broadcast media; but it'd be a nervy(or foolish) North Korean who operates an unauthorized radio transmitter that would allow for any sort of bidirectional networking... Some radio receivers are noisy enough to detect(see the BBC's old-school TV detector vans); but any transmitter running at useful power, unless using some sort of extremely tight directional antenna, is just asking for a knock on the door...

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about 2 years ago | (#41932581)

They probably already have some form of Wifi along their side of the DMZ, though not necessarily 200m high towers with directional antennae. I doubt any but the highest ranking NK officers have anything resembling a mobile phone, and those that do would not connect to an outside Wifi network for fear of being sent to the gulag. The open internet is reserved for those closest to the few in power in Pyongyang, or at least from what I have read. Kim Jong-un needs his entertainment, right?

Re:A Revolution without Losing Authority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41933101)

I think you might be over thinking the word "revolution." Things like the industrial revolution, information revolution, etc., are at the most fundamental level just about a radical change that has wide reaching impact on other aspects of our life. There isn't anything about that requires it to be with or without some form of control, and isn't quite the same meaning as a revolution that overthrows or replaces the government. The nature of the information revolution does impact ability of governments and others to control things, but it doesn't preclude a muted but still wide spread change in paradigms that still are subject to the government's authority. It might make it difficult though.

"Information age"? (1, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41931513)

Propaganda isn't information.

Re:"Information age"? (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41931701)

it's a type of information.

Re:"Information age"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931877)

Better to say it's the movement of information.

The Internet is the greatest tool of propagation the world has known.

Re:"Information age"? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41931895)

In the same way that 'antimatter' is 'matter.'

Re:"Information age"? (4, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41932651)

Propaganda isn't necessarily false.

Re:"Information age"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931815)

depends on which side of the fence you are

Re:"Information age"? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#41931897)

As long as your are on either side, because sometimes those fences have barbed wire on top.

Re:"Information age"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931849)

it is and so is your and my post (fyi i'm on the helping side of education)

propaganda

propaganda

[prop-uh-gan-duh]

noun
1.
information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
2.
the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

Re:"Information age"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931879)

Propaganda isn't information.

Really? Gasoline isn't a liquid, either. Welcome to the new reality!

Re:"Information age"? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41932761)

Propaganda isn't information.

Yes, it is.
propaganda[prop-uh-gan-duh] noun
1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/propaganda [reference.com]

They have to (0)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 years ago | (#41931519)

Can you imagine what would happen to North Koreans if they allowed access to YouTube? Everybody would like to be like Psy.>)

Re:They have to (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41931673)

Sure.

A real revolution.

They should open up to certain sites (2, Funny)

Iconoc (2646179) | about 2 years ago | (#41931527)

They should allow access to the obvious North American news sites. The propaganda is already done for them. No worries ...

Re:They should open up to certain sites (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41931677)

Kim Jong-un News - Chabez News - Obama News; I'm sure there is a lot in common.

Re:They should open up to certain sites (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41932203)

In that they all seem to generate a lot of conservative butthurt?

Obama is a rightist, just not a far rightist deal with it.

Controlled Country (2)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | about 2 years ago | (#41931529)

And this is what remains from the cold war.
I'm so lucky not to be born there ... (And I'm not the only one)

Re:Controlled Country (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41932127)

and Cuba

Expect unification (2, Interesting)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41931549)

I think in the next 5 years time we'll be observing unification of North and South Korea, all signs are pointing in that direction. The North can provide plenty of unskilled cheap labor and the South will provide the capital, tools and management. AFAIC that's the best way to resolve that conflict, of-course there will be a problem of many high government officials accepting the terms, but I am sure they can be offered cushy enough sinecure positions of power until they retire. Somalia solved their communist problem with a bloody civil war. USSR fell apart and parts of it are reconstructed under authoritarian regime. Eastern Germany became a stone on the welfare system of the Western counterpart. Let's see if Koreans find a better way to deal with the unification process (hopefully they allow for a market solution to it rather than a central planning one).

Re:Expect unification (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931817)

That comment should be pushed down! SOCKPUPPET for 'roman_mir'. Moderate down.

Re:Expect unification (0)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41931833)

Aah, fans.

Re:Expect unification (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932107)

go down hte list of his comints and moderate all they down too, his account must be destroyed

Re:Expect unification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931889)

Great job on Somalia's problem solving.

Oh wait, they haven't even begun to solve their problem with communists, namely Communist Chinese fishing ships.

Re:Expect unification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932225)

What exactly are those signs?

I think that the unification will either take decades, or involve at least one completely collapsed country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_reunification

Re:Expect unification (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41932421)

What market solution would that be?

Why would the market want to improve the lives of north koreans?

If bringing up the standard of living for North Koreans is the goal then you will have to go the German unification route and it will cost a fortune. There is no other solution.

If you just want slaves, then letting the market exploit these already impoverished folks some more will work great.

Re:Expect unification (0, Flamebait)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41932543)

I realized some time ago that you are mentally challenged, I just didn't know it was to this degree.

Slaves? Make slaves out of North Koreans?

They ARE slaves. Their government is running slave labor camps, prevents them from having any property rights (and thus all other rights, because all rights are extension of property rights).

Saying that 'free market will turn them into slaves' is ridiculously retarded, but I am sure that you are not going to see any dissent to your opinion on these intratubes on /.

Chinese used to be slaves of the government, which killed them just like the North Koreans do, now they are working in factories, where they are free to quit any time and get another job, higher paying one, which they do all the time and their purchasing power is growing while they are becoming more and more skilled with more and more experience.

What is a North Korean worker worth in the Free Market today, with no skills, no experience, no capital, no tools, no idea how to run a business? Not much at all. But they are used as meat by their Communist regime.

What will they be worth after 5 years of work at some enterprises set up by free market if the North and South unite?

Certainly they cannot buy most of anything in North Korea that they can in South Korea. South Korea is living under constant threat of war and North Korea is running concentration labor camps.

Slaves? ALL people must learn to do something useful in the market before they see their earning potential rise and that is exactly what happens and the Chinese today are an excellent example.

In fact I think Koreas are going to unite and China will broker the deal.

What Germany did was terrible, putting people from one centralized system into a state ran welfare system, that the East didn't even work to create. You haven't been in Eastern Germany and you haven't compared it to the Western part. Ghost town after ghost town, with huge number of those people now living on social assistance, not being productive members of society as the free market would have made them be.

You are ridiculous.

the PRK intranet is just begging to be rickrolled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931599)

or goetsed etc

Dear Leader approve this 1980's BBS! (5, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41931613)

Dear Leader wish to remind all BBS user that upload ratios be strictly enforced for glory of True Korea and Worker Party!

Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (3, Funny)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41931617)

Cheap Tablets with limited 3G bandwidth and full access to the Internet. Let the real revolution start!

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931689)

Using what wireless infrastructure? You do realize that you need to connect to an Internet-connected base-station in order to access the Internet, don't you? Cell phones/tablets don't just connect to the Internet magically over infinite distances.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#41931757)

This could be done with satphones but it would require a sponsor with huge financial investment since they're kind of the opposite of cheap.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931765)

You know NOTHING of the internet. It's part of all of us. It is a God-Given Right. It has always existed and will always exist. All you have to do is believe. We're all number one and we all win.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#41932051)

Wow, you're right! After reading your message I felt a weird sensation all over my body and now there's this new "ArcadeMan" SSID available for my tablet!

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41932163)

You could create a mesh network, like they have done with the OLPC "one laptop per child" . Each tablet connects to each other till it gets an Internet connection across the southern DMZ.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41932455)

That would work great if your goal is to have more North Koreans sent to labor camps.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 2 years ago | (#41932969)

Even worse: using what power infrastructure ? Tablets need electricity to run. And it looks like the majority of north korea has no such thing.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

Gerinych (1393861) | about 2 years ago | (#41931725)

They don't have 3G towers in North Korea... I think. If they do, they're probably being controlled by the government, anyway, so the access is still restricted.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931739)

The 3G bandwidth will automatically be limited... to zero. This is NORTH KOREA we're talking about here, ffs.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 2 years ago | (#41931793)

Even if, such a revolution would just end up with more blood, for the blood god, regardless of who won.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (4, Funny)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about 2 years ago | (#41932095)

Maybe use even cheaper tablets with no wireless access, but with a 64 Gb cache of the Best of the Internet. I'm thinking Wikipedia, the Food Network recipe files (North Koreans are hungry!), and selected high-quality porn.

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (2)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 years ago | (#41932893)

the Food Network recipe files (North Koreans are hungry!)

What are they going to do, print out and eat the recipes? If you're hungry, it's probably not because you have all the basic ingredients and you just don't know how to prepare them. It's because you don't have the basic ingredients. You don't have rice, grains, sufficient potable water...

Re:Airdrop cheap tablets like leaflets (1)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41932125)

Cheap Tablets with limited 3G bandwidth and full access to the Internet. Let the real revolution start!

Who is going to revolt when they're bleeding profusely from the head wounds the tablets caused?

Moron (5, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41932497)

Really, you are a moron, what base tower are they going to connect to? Or do you think 3g is some kind of miracle magic internet thingy that just works anywhere?

Morons like this are on a tech site but know nothing about tech or reality. North Korea might have cell towers but they aren't connected to the rest of the world. All you will do in NK is you turn on a cellphone is give the position of someone who is going to spend sometime in a labor camp. Your cellphone won't connect but its position will be accurately enough determined through triangulation.

No doubt some equal noob is going to shout something about darknet or whatever cyber crap they heard but never understood. The reason you can hide things on the internet in the west is because nobody is looking. The easiest way to stop people from communicating is NOT to listen to what they are saying but to kill anyone who says anything at all.

In NK there won't be a crack team trying to break your encrypted mails, if you don't belong to the elite, you send an email, you die. End of story. You belong to the elite and they can't plainly see it as readable, they ask you through a rubber hose.

In NK there is no TSA to try to catch your out at the airport, they catch you at the airport, you die. End of story.

In NK there is no drone trying to see if you grow weed, you use electricity, your door is busted open to see what you are using it with.

This is a dictatorship, they don't ask why you are broadcasting, broadcasting ANYTHING is illegal.

Below some idiot talks about a mesh network... yeah because creating a netword of transmitters in a place nobody trusts each other is going to last anytime at all.

REALLY, this is supposed to be a tech site not a site for dweebs who heard a word and run with it.

THINK for a second what total control means. NK information comes in through the ass and goes out. Film rolls smuggled inside and if you survive the border, ANYONE finds out what you done, you are dead and your family is dead. This is a place where MILLIONS died and NOTHING happened. This is not a nice dictatorship like nazi germany, this is something the world has never seen before, total control.

Can just everyone on this site accept that ANY transmitter will be detected? This was true as long back as WW2. The only thing possible is to create a transmitter that requires practically no power, can be moved very fast and broadcast near instantly and it tiny. Then you might get out a burst on the go and not be found. And you would have to do that all the time in a country where if someone turns you in, they will eat something besides grass.

Dropping tablets with 3g? So dumb it really deserves not just mockery but vilification.

Que mod down by some butthurt noob whose teachers all told him he was special.

Re:Moron (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41932845)

Obviously you know nothing about Korea, and nothing about networking. I've been there, and a cell tower in the southern border of the DMZ could reach a good distance on the north side. You can also create mesh networks like they have done with OLPC in Africa. So please keep your rants brief, I don't need a history lesson about North Korea.

NK $p4m (3, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 2 years ago | (#41931625)

Lulz @ cptl$m. KrlMrx 4eva. Ma0 MTSBWY.

Ooopa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931681)

Oopa North Korean Style.

Opportunity to sow seeds of discontent? (5, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 2 years ago | (#41931695)

Could this be an opportunity for South Korea (or any other western government) to send their own daily propaganda text messages to phones in NK? All it would take is a fake cell site just over the border, on a (very high) flying aircraft/drone, or on a ship outside territorial waters. Having radio-based technology in the hands of the masses in NK can work for _and_ against the current government.

Re:Opportunity to sow seeds of discontent? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41932607)

if only south korea wanted to officially do that.

the people in south korea who are for waging information war against the north are surprisingly small - status quo is just fine for most of them and they will (even violently) prevent others from upsetting the state in the north in that fashion.

aaanyhow.. those with cellphones in the north are in the top class that knows that everyone can eat pork in China of all places - they're not the best target for the propaganda.

sport sport sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931781)

you like the word sport.

plus 5, Tr0ll) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931783)

PropaganDa and been many, not the to say There have Resound as fitting

So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931795)

Whats the URL? I wan't to sell them some cheap viagra.

best korea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931813)

text messages on a cellular telephone? Message boards and chat functions? Dear leader truly is a visionary! How long until the plebs in the rest of the world catch up? Oh they never will because next year North Korea will introduce a phone that has a camera in it! North Korea is the freest most technologically advanced nation on the planet!

Re:best korea (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41931825)

It better not have rounded corners or else Apple may try to sue.

At least they have the right approach (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 years ago | (#41931819)

Say what you want about the censorship itself, but at least the approach taken by likes of China and now North Korea's is more in keeping with the spirit of the Internet that some of the sweeping proposals coming from the more fundamental groups at the moment. Given that some content and topics are, for whatever reason, prohibited in a given area of the world (and some quite rightly so), I'd much rather have the Chinese / North Korean approach of "This is our section of the Internet, and we'll take responsibility for censoring it as we see fit while the rest of you can route around the damage and do want you want on your section." than the approach being proposed by certain other groups to block the whole lot, everywhere - including where it is a perfectly legal and accepted social norm.

Re:At least they have the right approach (1)

KramberryKoncerto (2552046) | about 2 years ago | (#41931931)

It's just because they know blocking everyone else is more difficult. They'd even attempt world domination if they believed they could.

An entire country imprisoned/brainwashed (4, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#41931837)

Imagine, an *entire country* held captive and being brainwashed by political media. I hear North Korea is pretty bad too.

I don't have to imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932075)

Imagine, an *entire country* held captive and being brainwashed by political media.

We've all seen this exact phenomenon happen in full force earlier this week.

Fuck the FSA.

Re:An entire country imprisoned/brainwashed (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41932217)

I don't need to imagine it, I'm already living it.

Intranet? (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 2 years ago | (#41931841)

An intranet reminds me of the good old days. Maybe NK should install Banyan Vines. Then they could have the B-mail snowball effect:

To: "*@*@*"
LUNCH BAG
Somebody left their lunch bag in the break room 2432.

To "*@*@*"
Re: LUNCH BAG
Don't send messages to *@*@*!

To "*@*@*"
Re: Re: LUNCH BAG
Hey you stupid people, never Reply All to *@*@*!!!

To "*@*@*"
Re: LUNCH BAG
I'm in the Singapore office. Where is this room 2432 you speak of?

To "*@*@*"
Re: LUNCH BAG
Hey you people, knock it off!

<strained 80286-based servers crash>

North Korean Style??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41931969)

Definitely not Gangnam Style [wikipedia.org] that's for sure.

Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41932105)

I think it's no coincidence that all the major media players use exactly the same words to describe events. Case in point? The description of the election was "razor tight" was repeated everywhere. Now if this were a commonly used expression, I wouldn't have noticed. But this is a ridiculous and meaningless expression. what is "tight" about a razor? Nothing. Razors are sharp. Razors are thin. Razors are not "tight." But that the media repeated this across the board says a lot to me.

It says they are there to repeat what they are told to say and to use that repetition to drive the masses to think and believe in particular ways. And of course it works...

"Support the troops!" Right? It doesn't mean what I think it should mean. Of course it *does* mean that we don't reject them when they return from tours of destruction and unaccounted for "collateral damage" which may or may not include the killing of children or other innocents. It means we don't blame them for doing what they were told... or even if they were doing more than they were told. (Really, we don't know what they were told to do.) But that it should mean is that wounded fighters should have their lives taken care of for the rest of their lives... you know, like the congressmen, senators and presidents who sent them off into harm's way to do their bidding in persuit of their agenda. We don't do that. Our government has no interest in doing that. No one actually supports the troops in any meaningful way... in fact, on Veteran's day, the one "holiday" where *I* (a veteran of the first Iraq 'thing') should get recognized and the day off and all that, I don't. Who does? Banks, the postal service, some schools... Not me though.

"Support the troops!" means something else. It actually means "support our agenda unquestioningly" and that is exactly what has been happening.

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932297)

Yes, the wool is slowly and forcefully being lifted, the question is, will anyone actually notice to a percentage degree that will actually matter?

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (2)

Eevee (535658) | about 2 years ago | (#41932525)

I think it's no coincidence that all the major media players use exactly the same words to describe events. Case in point? The description of the election was "razor tight" was repeated everywhere. Now if this were a commonly used expression, I wouldn't have noticed.

According to Google, there are about 16,400,000 results for "razor thin" and about 10,300,000 results for "razor tight". So "razor tight" doesn't appear to be all that obscure.

But this is a ridiculous and meaningless expression. what is "tight" about a razor? Nothing. Razors are sharp. Razors are thin. Razors are not "tight."

Now, you're right, razors are not "tight". But in this context, tight isn't modifying razor, razor is modifying tight.It's a tight race. How tight? So tight that the margin is a razor-blade's thickness. (Here's a hint: try dropping one of the words and see what happens.)

But that the media repeated this across the board says a lot to me.

Now, did it say "people pick up phrases from each other" or did it say "it's time to up my medications again'?

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41932707)

Use quotes. For "razor tight" with quotes, I get 18,800 results. Nearly every result on the first page is discussing what a weird term "razor tight" is for the media to have seized upon.

For comparison, "razor thin", with quotes, has 1,460,000 results.

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932563)

It really bothered me how, when refering to the trails for Guantanamo Bay captives, not a single outlet mentioned that they were using military tribunals instead of real trials. There is something very wrong with our country's media.

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41932577)

Nah, it means support OUR troops, as it means those troops are OUR people,as in our brothers, sons, boyfriends, and husbands who are over there. It's easy to misconstrue this, especially if you are in the elite class who does not know anyone in the military. Quick question: how many of your high school classmates joined up? Oh, they didn't? Ah, now we begin to see the inconsistency. The politicians decide when and where our soldiers go to war. You don't like the war, then vote the politicians out of office. It can by no means be considered the fault of the warrior, upon whose head you seem to be all to eager to lay all the blame.

For what it's worth, the "support our troops" movement grew directly out of the Vietnam War experience. The American body politic held the troops directly responsible for everything that happened there. This, even though Robert McNamara (the chief villain behind the war) wrote a book basically saying, "yeah the whole thing was my fault, my bad, I promise not to do it again, I learned my lesson."

But fuck that, eh? It's much more satisfying to lay the blame on the individual soldiers who were given impossible missions. Blame the doers, not the deciders. After all, the doers are the powerless, and it's fun to shit all over them. The deciders? Heck, if I blame them, then I might not be allowed to join them! Fuck that noise. Meet the returning soldiers at the airport and spit on them. That's the correct way!

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41932759)

You don't like the war, then vote the politicians out of office. It can by no means be considered the fault of the warrior, upon whose head you seem to be all to eager to lay all the blame.

No. The troops made the choice to join the military. They either knew, or should have known that they would be used as nothing but tools to make the world safe for Goldman Sachs. You don't sign up to be an enforcer for the largest criminal organization in the world and not shoulder some of the blame for the crimes you commit.

Are the troops powerless? Hell no. They have the power to decide not to sign up, and they made the wrong choice. Fuck them all.

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (1)

Colven (515018) | about 2 years ago | (#41932787)

puh... I was so busy being bludgeoned with "get-out-the-vote" that I never got to hear "razor-tight!" :(

Re:Meanwhile, in the US, media all sounds the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41933091)

Wow thanks for opening my mind, I was wondering why people often start to wear the same kind of clothes at the same time, now I know, it's the government that tells them what to wear !!!
I guess that's the same for all the buzzwords like cloud computing, web 2.0 ... The goverment is really everywhere !
Thanks for relvealing this consparacy mate :)

It is the only way Communist can win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932179)

This should not be a surprise. Communist can not win if you know what they are doing.

Note: Obama never lets us know his plans.

Re:It is the only way Communist can win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41933015)

It's not real Communism if there is a government. You're thinking of fascism.

The Mobile Phone And Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932317)

I'm quite amazed to hear that there are over 1 million mobile phone users in North Korea. But, it gets me thinking about something else...

I travel a quite a bit, and very often in poor countries. Yet, everywhere I go I am continually surprised to see people living in tin shacks and questionable frequency of meals using mobile phones and having satellite TV dishes. It seems that the world over, people that can afford the least spend their money on totally unnecessary items where they would be better off spending that money on food, clothing or shelter.

Even in the ghettos of the U.S. where people are living in project housing, eating via food stamps, they have mobile phones(not just Obama phones) and satellite/cable TV. It indicates a level of ignorance that annoys me.

Go ahead and tell me what an ass I am for my views and how poor people should have these things. I just don't see it.

Re:The Mobile Phone And Economics (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 2 years ago | (#41932747)

There is a key feature about mobile phones and satellite dishes which makes them highly appealing to people of lower income.

The phones are mobile, and the dishes provide information flow from a region far beyond the local geographic area.

People have a need to 'ingest' news and information. And for a lot of these people, they speak a different language, or are culturally segregated from the local populace. A satellite dish allows them to receive information from their region or group regardless of their current location.

When you rent, or aren't sure just where you will be living in the next 3 months, do you want to go through the process of getting a new landline run to your location? Or activating an old one? Do you then go through the process of telling everyone your new number (number portability is a recent development and may not exist in certain nations)

Or you can get a cell phone and buy minutes. That way you can be contacted, and you can contact people.

If you are homeless and trying to get a job. What do you give out for a phone number? The phone number at your homeless shelter? Who wants to reveal to an employer they are homeless. Instead, they can give people a cell number, and then no one has to know they are homeless, and they can be contacted quickly regardless of which shelter they are currently residing at.

I won't call you an ass. (but I expect someone to come in and move the goalposts from 'cellphone' to 'smartphone')

This is not a new phenomenon (1)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about 2 years ago | (#41932357)

For years the closed cell network and intranet have been available in NK, long before Kim Jong Un was even known. They've slowly been adapting things from outside of the country for over a decade now, and even have their own versions of "burger joints". Youtube is blocked where I am, otherwise I'd post links to some videos on there showing them off. This is the same way North Korea has dealt with all technology. When radios were still the main source of media, they were given radios they could not turn off, that played propoganda and "party approved" music. When TV became inevitable they started giving televisions to upstanding members of the party, but they were limited to one channel only and it was illegal to tamper with it. I'm still interested to find out if anything will change in regards to available technology... Kim Jong Un spent lots of time outside the country and grew up with video games, dvds, and most likely, the internet.

The main difference is that it has become widespread to smuggle _real_ phones in to the country from China. They are also getting DVD's from South Korea via China. Many of them are now aware that the rest of the world is not the desolate backwater their government asserted it was.

Sounds like N.Korea finally has BBSes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932369)

Do they run at 9600 baud?

Even this is better than nothing (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#41932439)

When all improvements are merely seen as proof of how bad the situation is, you miss out on the fact that there has been an improvement - however slight.

Remember what China was like 40 years ago under Mao? Remember the giant steps in which change happened? Right, me neither. Change is slow, incremental, imperceptile, even when it happens at the speed that China has changed. Just because they haven't crossed the finish line doesn't mean it's not a first step.

Simply solution: (2)

trum4n (982031) | about 2 years ago | (#41932743)

Lets load up drones with WIFI blasters and Satellite modems! Give them some real internet for a day! Oh, and paint Iranian logos on the drones!

Y!uo fail it.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932769)

address3s will [goat.cx]

They just described 1984 perfectly (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41932865)

North Korea is a walking talking Orwell country

This is the sort of thing that boils my blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932885)

I can't help but feel we're failing as humans. Honestly, any reason to invade NK that gives those people freedom and the possibility of a better life is a good enough reason to me.

hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932891)

i wonder where the porn is hidden in that intranet ;]

Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41932939)

This is fantastic. Once users are able to communicate freely and anonymously, and the schools and scientists appreciate the advantages of the medium, it will be just a matter of time until the North Korea intranet connects to the Internet, just as it did in China.

global internet of Twitter and Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41933025)

What is this global internet of Twitter and Facebook that you are talking about? I'm a happy user of internet even if I am not use either one.

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