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Cyber Bullying Destroys Anonymity

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the good-clean-fights dept.

99

aussie_a writes "The BBC has an article on online bullying in South Korea. The problem has grown so large that in addition to the police having dedicated cyber terror units, the South Korean government will enact a law next year forcing South Koreans to reveal their name and ID before posting online. However some ISPs want the government to go further and to ban some people from being able to log onto the internet at all."

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Feh! (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715257)

Stupid things like that would not happen if those amazing inscrutables would not have those "saving face" values... I mean, if someone tells shit about you anonymously, who gives a shit? It's worth where it's coming from: not much.

Geeez, sometimes, those guys should get a life!!!

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715361)

Your suggestion that we should take information from anonymous and semi-anonymous posts with a pinch of salt is a good one, unfortunately most people are stupid and believe anything they read. Anonymous postings CAN cause real damage to a person's reputation.

There clearly need to be protections in place, so people can speak "anonymously" where this has public benefit, e.g. whistleblowers, people being more open with the truth, etc. This should not, however, mean people should be free to spread malicious lies.

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715409)

There clearly need to be protections in place, so people can speak "anonymously" where this has public benefit, e.g. whistleblowers, people being more open with the truth, etc.

Good idea, we could call it the internet. What do you think?



This should not, however, mean people should be free to spread malicious lies.

Did GWB or TBliar need anonymity to start a war? Why should they be free to spread lies?



I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter but before I do, you need to stop huffing kittens and answer some questions.

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715703)

We were talking about the Internet, so I thought this would kind of be implied. It would be possible to stop a lot of problems online if we could come up with a secure way to link Internet-based accounts to individual people. It would also cause a whole host of other problems, which is why I didn't say this should be the solution. My point was simply that any solution offered shouldn't prevent "good"* anonymous speech.

I certainly wasn't suggesting that speakers, once identified, have the *right* to spread lies. To take examples from the article, people are having their phone numbers, boss's phone number, and credit card details posted. Pretty much anywhere, posting somebody else's credit card details would be illegal, and it would be perfectly reasonable to expect somebody doing that to get arrested for it. So, the other fork of the dilemma is, if people are going to behave in this manner, there needs to be a way to deal with this.

I don't think anyone has the right to spread lies, but the problem is, there is no agreement on what the truth is. I'd be delighted if people calling their horoscopes "accurate", for example, were prosecuted under the Trades Description Act, as "pulled them out of a hat" is probably closer to the facts. What we don't want is a Ministry Of Truth that goes around enforcing any deviation from their version of the truth. Especially as the Ministry of Information would now be telling us there were WMDs in Iraq, what insurgents?, etc. In fact, I'd go as far as suggesting that posting Blair's address on the Internet would be perfectly reasonable.****

As I point out many times, everything is a compromise. We have to let be large portions of lies in order to protect the rights of other people to say things that would be denied under a "truth-only" society. So, we have the compromise of libel, slander, harassment, data protection**, etc. that chips away at specific acts of speech that cause harm. Just like "X... but on the Internet!" shouldn't be patentable, "Y... but on the Internet!" should still be prosecutable***.

Finally, with regards to your "huffing kittens" remark... this shows it's fully possible to disagree with somebody, take a dig at them, and not ruin their life in the process.

* I hesitated to use this word, as it could invoke the old "free speech means people you disagree with, too" principle. Be clear I don't mean "the free speech I like". I could also have said "legal", causing people to remind me the law isn't the judge of what's right and what isn't. I could also have said "non-harmful", but plenty of hate speech is clearly harmful and not the stuff we are discussing here. I hope people will understand that I mean that I'm desiring a minimal impact.

** Well, in Europe, anyway.

*** Yes, I know somebody can come up with a nice counter-example, but here I mean the harmful acts under discussion, not "Where Y is shooting somebody and on the Internet you're just drawing red pixels on a photo".

**** Yes, this one's a joke.

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715999)

Pretty much anywhere, posting somebody else's credit card details would be illegal, and it would be perfectly reasonable to expect somebody doing that to get arrested for it.
Cart before the carriage man.

The problem is with the insecurity of the credit card, not with the anonymity of people posting. Instead of restricting EVERYONE, a huge and unmanageable problem ripe with unintended side-effects, how about fixing the credit card system instead? A much smaller, narrowly focused problem with companies that will directly benefit and thus should be willing to foot the bill too.

PS - AFAIK, it isn't illegal to post credit card numbers. It is illegal to try to fraudulenty use them.

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716587)

Incitement to commit offences is quite often illegal, so placing credit card details in a "let's get this person" post is likely to be prosecutable one way or another. Requiring somebody to cancel all their cards, re-set up any CATs***, etc. is a clear example of actual harm being caused to somebody, though "causing somebody a bit of inconvenience" itself may not be illegal.

It's fairly ridiculous to claim that people exploiting flaws in reality**** aren't responsible for their actions. My point is that people can cause harm to others with what they say, and _ideally_ they should be held account for it*. I also point out a bunch of problems if this is attempted to be done without causing more harm than good. I'm not claiming to have the magic formula that achieves this goal.

* And this means stuff like "organising a mob to make 200 phone calls to their house", not "calling them a big doodie head". Clearly, some judgement needs to be exercised**

** And by this, I don't mean "Wow, the courts sure are a great place to solve all of this, and certainly won't result in deep pockets silencing people". I mean that people actually have to do some thinking here, as I'm not talking in absolutes.

*** Continuous Authority Transactions, e.g. monthly payments for a subscription

**** I'm including things like banks and credit cards here, even though some people may make the philosophical argument that they are artificial constructs. By "reality", I mean "the universe that we live in" rather than some ideal world where doing bad things to people isn't possible.

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16719513)

It's fairly ridiculous to claim that people exploiting flaws in reality**** aren't responsible for their actions. My point is that people can cause harm to others with what they say, and _ideally_ they should be held account for it*. I also point out a bunch of problems if this is attempted to be done without causing more harm than good. I'm not claiming to have the magic formula that achieves this goal.


That is because there is no such magic formula. To try to create one will only cause more harm than good. Furthermore all the actions that actually cause harm are already illegal. Coordinating harassing phone calls has no effect at all, it is the actual calls that do damage and are illegal to begin with. You totally missed my point about credit cards - choosing to focus on the question of the legality of posting the information today rather than fixing the inherent problem that makes posting them a possible form of harassment. Just because we already have thought crimes now is in no way a justification for increasing their scope.

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16719773)

So, under your world view, is breaking into computer systems OK if they have flaws in them, as long as you just look around a bit?

Re:Feh! (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718769)

It would be possible to stop a lot of problems online if we could come up with a secure way to link Internet-based accounts to individual people.

You mean like static ips and identd? Well, MS and dialup isps screwed that one. Then again sending a subpoena to the isp will at least give you the owner of the dialup account.

Damn, I almost came up with a legal requirement to force ISPs to give everyone static ips.

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16719123)

If you're trying to persuade politicians to give everyone static IPs, I have a much better way to argue it:

Static IPs provide a valuable deterrent to digital crime by easily identifying the perpetrators. These crimes could include hacking attempts on important national infrastructure.

You're with static IPs, or you're with the terrorists!

Re:Feh! (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720913)

Sadly, the ISPs have a lot of lobbying power (read: money), and they make a huge profit hosting websites because we can't host them ourselves. If everyone had a static IP, it would essentially destroy the web hosting industry as we know it. You'd better believe that GoDaddy has a problem with end users getting static IPs at all, never mind that being the only option.

So, you're either with the self-perpetuating ISP/registrar monopoly system, or you're with the terrorists.

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715793)

Your suggestion that we should take information from anonymous and semi-anonymous posts with a pinch of salt is a good one, unfortunately most people are stupid and believe anything they read. Anonymous postings CAN cause real damage to a person's reputation.

So, because some people are stupid, we need to make life harder for the smart people? That kind of attitude is what pushes a society into stasis and stagnation.

I say it is waaaaay too early to be putting restrictions on the net. Fuck, how many centuries has it been since the creation of the printing press and we still have idiots trying to ban books. Give it at least a couple of generations to let society's collective wisdom ingest the net before we try to tie it up in unnecessary restraints.

There clearly need to be protections in place, so people can speak "anonymously" where this has public benefit, e.g. whistleblowers, people being more open with the truth, etc. This should not, however, mean people should be free to spread malicious lies.

And just who will decide the difference between "whistleblowers" and "malicious liars" - is there some sort of intelligent designer who is omniscient? Because otherwise you are only setting society up for free discussion of "mother and apple pie" (because no one disagrees with talk about 'mother and apple pie') while the real whistleblowers get censored.

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716173)

The person that is affected by a bunch of people believing an online attack on them is not the mob, it is the subject of these attacks. So, the *problem* is that a bunch of stupid people can affect other people. Whether the solution causes its own problems is another matter.

My point about protecting whistleblowers was about the desired result of any solution, rather than suggesting this should be the aim of a solution. To put it another way, I was saying that while identifying all people all the time would (theoretically) solve people anonymously posting other people's personal details (as the perpetrators could be identified), it would also prevent the whistleblowers. So, a solution of this nature would not be desirable.

Re:Feh! (1)

BillyBlaze (746775) | more than 7 years ago | (#16719977)

If the problem is a bunch of stupid people, the solution is not removal of anonymity, or censorship, but education. Even if you succeed in removing most untrue statements, you would only have reinforced the dangerous tendency of people to believe everything they read. Hence requiring even more censorship. It's kind of a vicious cycle.

Re:Feh! (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720259)

To be clear, I'm not advocating an attack on *all* untrue statements, as that would, of course, cause issues on who gets to decide the truth. I'm strictly discussing personal attacks, as seen in the linked article. Are you suggesting, say, that if I made a webpage, say, "BillyBlaze ate my hamster", and it wasn't an obvious parody, you shouldn't have the right to get it taken down, despite the fact I've never owned a hamster, and (I presume) you've never eaten one? If so, how far would you personally let it slide against a site spreading lies against you before you'd want to take action?

Your "cycle of censorship" as confirmation reminds me of a letter to a popular science magazine I saw once. The author had noted that NASA wasn't suing people that claimed the moon landings were a hoax, which was clearly proof enough - NASA surely wouldn't let its pride be insulted like this. The magazine's reply was that if NASA had being suing people, the same people would be screaming "cover up".

On your education point, I propose a new song to be sung in school:

Things written on the Internet might be lies,
Things written on the Internet might be lies,
Things written on the Internet might be lies,
Pictures can be altered,
And quotes from people who misheard,
Things written on the Internet might be lies.

(This is evidence on why I'm not a rock star)

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715423)

From the article:
Online mobs first demonise those they disagree with, then the victim's home address, credit card details, and even their boss's phone numbers get passed around.

From this point, things get very personal. I don't agree with their solution, but it's definitely a serious problem. Can you imagine how it would be to receive a few phone calls in the middle of the night, just to hear some laughter or a dead threat? And this isn't just one day, but a whole year.

Police should definitely investigate this, but investigating does not mean monitoring every person as a suspect. It's like putting a camera on everyone's head and make it illegal to take it off. Why would we still need police then as there is nothing left to investigate?

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715431)

And what the hell would you know about suffering abuse on the internet, you stupid git?

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715551)

>Geeez, sometimes, those guys should get a life!!!

Shut your pie hole and give me your milk money you little turd!

Re:Feh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16719633)

O RLY?

My books are getting slammed on amazon because someone is joe-jobbing me right now. They decided they didn't like me and are sending spams with my email address on them. End result? Pissing off a lot of people to the point of reviewing down a book they've never read.

Cyber bullying can harm people more than "just hurting their feelings". It's giving the wrong people anonymity that can turn the Internet into a weapon.

Right you spotty little herberts (1)

nih (411096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715285)

Anyone that post's will get a slap!

Re:Right you spotty little herberts (1)

mad_minstrel (943049) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715607)

mad_minstrel slaps nih around a bit with a large trout.

Hey butler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715287)

..stop butling yourself!

Nelson's simple message was that there are worse things in life than name calling. Such as invasion of privacy.

Re:Hey butler... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720357)

Nelson's simple message was that there are worse things in life than name calling. Such as invasion of privacy.

Agreed. So what do YOU suggest get done for the victims of this cyber bullying who have their privacy invaded?

Re:Hey butler... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#16724871)

report it to your telephone company / credit card company and get those numbers changed. Then be a bit more careful with them?

Stop reading those particular fora (they can say bad things about you all they like - if you don't read it it won't affect you) and sign up for at new fora with a different screen name. On the internet you have anonymity too - use it to disappear.

Re:Hey butler... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16731977)

Oh I can see my boss loving that one.

What a bunch of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715311)

I thought South Korean was supposed to be the democratic country and the beacon of freedom in stark contrast to the north. Feh. Looks like they want to muzzle their youth and disable anonymous speech, the most important kind (see the Boston Tea Party, for example). Of course, you can see this in the United States where they have disabled anonymous air travel, among other things.

Re:What a bunch of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16717001)

Maybe if those youths didn't act like complete dickwads, then they wouldn't have to muzzle them...

Re:What a bunch of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16717607)

Sorry, but since a few people do something does not mean you pass a law punishing everyone. That's called overreacting and it's really stupid behavior.

free speech != irresponsible speech (1)

lpq (583377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16727665)

Why must free speech be equated to "no responsibility" speech?

If you are reporting about government or bad-employer activities, that's an area where free speech is needed to protect the speaker, but when it comes to personal sniping against other individuals -- individuals need protection against anonymous sniping.

Taking responsibility for personal attacks is part of learning "responsibility for having free speech". To encourage irresponsibility is too encourage the death of freedom (witness America)...

I've seen this here on \. and often (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715313)

Just say something disparaging about Macs.

Then stand back and watch the mob form.

Mod parent down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715365)

That was a totally unfair slur against the stereotypical Mac user. TFA is about bullying, a mob of mincing Macophiles would only be concerned with sodomy.

Re:I've seen this here on \. and often (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720373)

I've seen this here on \. and often

Really? Can you link to an example of someone getting their street address, bosses phone number and credit card number placed online by a cyber bully from slashdot?

Obligatory in Korea joke... (0, Troll)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715345)

In Korea, only old people bully on the internet...

Re:Obligatory in Korea joke... (1)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718607)

I could see getting moderated overrated, but how the hell does this get modded troll? Obviously by someone who hasn't been on slashdot long enough to see the story about the old people in Korea who are the only ones still using email...

South Korea or North Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715359)

BBC must have made a mistake. I am sure they meant North Korea and not South Korea.

In Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715375)

In Korea only old people use the internet to bully eachother lolol

Anonymity (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715381)

Doesnt seem to be a right in their country. Oh well, it is their country, their rules, nothing to see here.

Re:Anonymity (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715497)

Are there rights that are yours simply by virtue of being a human being? Or are governments the ultimate decider of what set of rights you have?

Re:Anonymity (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716397)

It could be argued that any country is governed by the consent of the people (whether it is active consent as in a democracy, or passive consent in a dictatorship that has not been overthrown). As long as those people are free to leave their country and go somewhere else, then the remainder should be free to abrogate any rights they wish. Many of us only complain about people in the USA doing the same because our own governments have the habit of saying 'Look! They're doing something really stupid over there! Why don't we try it too?'

Re:Anonymity (1)

redhog (15207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717515)

And since then are you free to leave you please? In the real world, to leave, you acutually have to have somewhere else to go. And usually, if you live in a dictatorship country, your chances of getting a work-visa let alone a permanent visa in any other country are pretty slim.

Re:Anonymity (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718507)

As long as those people are free to leave their country and go somewhere else, then the remainder should be free to abrogate any rights they wish.

Emigrating is seldom simple, and often involves leaving behind friends and family. Language plays a major consideration, as well as money. Setting up in a new country is complicated enough when you have a sponsoring employer helping you come in: without a job or resources, it is an overwhelming undertaking.

Now, the "should be free" line begs the question: just what are we talking about here? If you mean to say that other countries should not intervene short of an immanent or ongoing humanitarian catastrophe, I'm willing to agree. If by "should" you mean some kind of normative position, I have to disagree strongly.

Re:Anonymity (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716843)

Both.

Re:Anonymity (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16719239)

Are there rights that are yours simply by virtue of being a human being? Or are governments the ultimate decider of what set of rights you have?

Whoever can take away a particular right of yours is the ultimate arbiter of whether you have it or not. That someone is usually the government, since it is the strongest entity around. So yeah, the governments are the ultimate decider of what set of rights they bother honoring, and the rest are just fancy philosophical concepts which have nothing to do with your life.

Might does not make right, but neither does right make might.

Re:Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715535)

Can you name any country where it is a right? I'm not aware of one.

Self policing and selection (1)

teslatug (543527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715437)

Haven't the South Koreans heard of self-policing online communities? Why don't these communities take care of their own problems? And if the community won't take care of the problem, then why be part of that community? Go somewhere else, it's a big (world wide) world out there.

Re:Self policing and selection (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715481)

Have you ever heard of self-policing real live communities?
They died out with the advent of the written law, in the middle ages.

What good does it do to "not be part of the community" for anybody when the net is just the medium for in effect quite conventional crimes?

Re:Self policing and selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715579)

Have you ever heard of self-policing real live communities?
They died out with the advent of the written law, in the middle ages.

Yeah, and the net is exactly like real-world life, no differences at all.

What good does it do to "not be part of the community" for anybody when the net is just the medium for in effect quite conventional crimes?

Because sticks and stones may break my bones but online I can just get a new id.

Re:Self policing and selection (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720419)

Because sticks and stones may break my bones but online I can just get a new id.

And a new boss, and new address, and a new credit card number. Good luck with that.

Re:Self policing and selection (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716469)

The difference is that real-space is a limited resource, while cyber-space is not. If you don't like your real community, then it is really hard (and expensive) to find some unused land on which to build a new one. On the Internet, it is much easier to get like-minded people and form a new community. Web hosting is almost free [nearlyfreespeech.net] , and so you can implement your own moderation system (or just install one of the hundreds of free off-the-shelf systems).

Re:Self policing and selection (1)

Doctor O (549663) | more than 7 years ago | (#16728959)

Have you ever heard of self-policing real live communities?
They died out with the advent of the written law, in the middle ages.

No, they didn't. Actually they make quite a comeback in the low-income quarters of most Western cities. I don't think for example you're going to shout racist paroles in a French banlieue for very long, or try to molest a woman where I grew up. Gangs are another instrument of self-policing. Groups of patrolling Nazis, as in the eastern part of Germany, are another.

Mind you, this self-policy doesn't necessarily correspond with this 'written law' thing you talk of, but it does exist, and it's growing *fast*. Actually I'm under the impression that written law is losing force as the poor get poorer, which will lead to quite some problems in the future when the number of people who feel as the big losers of modern society grows big enough and people are poor enough to not care any more.

To not make this completely off-topic - when I went online around 12 years ago, most people online were rather wealthy and tech-savvy, and the net was a *very* different place. Many of today's problems (Eternal September, anyone?) are caused by what /.ers tend to call the 'unwashed masses', so what we're seeing in South Korea also is the result of a general social tendence slopping over into the online world.

Cyberframing... (1)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715459)

I wrote a document on the possibilities of someone having their lives shattered via e-Framing a while back Breaking Point [infiltrated.net] . I saw it then as a method someone could screw someone else's life up in hopes to revise the document on how to protect one's self. I can see a black market economy in the shadows revolving around this same thing.

Re:Cyberframing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715547)

I have trouble viewing "cyberframing" as much of a threat. Most people have enough sense to double check stuff that's that damaging in person. How often do people end long term relationships with one-line emails and NO other clues (including silence)?
I have the feeling that a law like this in the US would cause a dramatic upswing in the number of Napoleons Bonapartes and George Washingtons.
Also, after reading this [crunchgear.com] you'd wanna think a law like this through a little more.

The Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715461)

The Internet is Serious Business

Nevar (1)

alexjohnc3 (915701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715463)

Anonymous does not forgive.

A unified Korea? (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715483)

Perhaps the South's plan for reunification involves taking away the freedoms their northern neighbours lack one by one. The right to freely associate is a good place to start. Next, maybe they can make critizing the government a crime.

Re:A unified Korea? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720249)

Check out the South's "National Security Law", especially Article 7, and how it's enforced.

Just a thought... (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715489)

"Because on the internet information spreads quickly we need a system which blocks individuals from using the net in cases of defamation - something that will stop the spread of information before it happens, to save the victim."

Uh yeah... or maybe you could teach people not to believe everything they read online.

I love this "stop the spread of information . . . to save the victim".

What perspective.

Re:Just a thought... (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715525)

I agree. You deal with speech you do not agree with by doing more speech that makes a counter point. That's a lot healthier and easier to accomplish than running around trying to muzzle people. Who muzzles the muzzlers?

Re:Just a thought... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16720439)

Uh yeah... or maybe you could teach people not to believe everything they read online.
The problem is though, that the information is correct. The boss's phone number, the victim's street adress and credit card number does tend to be correct in these cyber bullying cases.

The other side of Korea (2, Interesting)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715517)

According to the article, a major problem is using somebody else's username/password on various social networking sites in order to flame people. This seems like a serious problem. In reality, if Slashdot collected my SIN number and stored it in a database (linked only with my email address, for login purposes), why would I care? If I say something wrong, the police get me. If the database is hacked, my SIN & email address (from which my real name can't be generated) is in somebody else's hands. So what? A random number generator could come up with some SIN numbers too.

Let them collect numbers. If it stops cyber-bullying, which is a *real* problem in our world, good for them. As an aside, I'm teaching English here in SK at the moment, and the whole social networking side of the country is pretty much invisible to me. The article was an interesting insight into a culture that, as a non-Korean speaker, I can never be a part of.

Re:The other side of Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715649)

According to the article, a major problem is using somebody else's username/password on various social networking sites in order to flame people.

Lol! So, because people are so stupid as to give out their passwords or so stupid as pick easily guessed passwords, they need yet another layer of government to protect them from the consequences? Are south koreans really all a bunch of stupid children? Do they really need their network access hobbled just because the dumbest of the dumb can't function?

Re:The other side of Korea (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717811)

In reality, if Slashdot collected my SIN number and stored it in a database (linked only with my email address, for login purposes), why would I care?

I'd care because I would have to self-censor heavily to make sure I don't write anything that could be construed by a powerfull entity as a reason to take actions against me.

I'm in the "RIAA and MPAA suxorz" camp, what if that ends up being enough to seize my computers and fine me for more than I'm worth?
What if my political views end up being illegal later on?
etc.

I like to be able to speak out freely.

Re:The other side of Korea (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718275)

If the database is hacked, my SIN & email address (from which my real name can't be generated) is in somebody else's hands. So what?

They use it to sign up as you somewhere else and start saying something wrong. The police get you.

Re:The other side of Korea (1)

ebyrob (165903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718943)

If I say something wrong, the police get me.

Oh yeah. That's the society I want to live in.

Re:The other side of Korea (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16719437)

em>If I say something wrong, the police get me.

Oh yeah. That's the society I want to live in.

Don't worry. With that attitude you won't, for very long anyway.

Re:The other side of Korea (1)

ebyrob (165903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16771881)

Is that supposed to be funny? I fear your sense of humor might be even sicker than mine...

Civil Courts (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715563)

Does South Korea have a civil court system where someone can sue for libel and/or slander? It isn't a new problem. All you need is one psychopath with a grudge and a lot of free time to make your life miserable.

Re:Civil Courts (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715577)

And how does one sue a person they can't identify? I think that's the whole point of this article, is it not?

Re:Civil Courts (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716001)

You file a suit against "John Doe", and subpoena the ISP for the person's real identity.

Re:Civil Courts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16716149)

Doesn't work real well with the perp is using an anonymizer such as TOR.

Re:Civil Courts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16716295)

No. In South Korea it is a suit against a "Kim Who", and you subpoena the guy who sells dog meat.

Re:Civil Courts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16718225)

And how does one sue a person they can't identify? I think that's the whole point of this article, is it not?

I think the point of the article was to eliminate cyber harassment by having the government force everyone to reveal their identity online so that if there's a disagreement, it can be settled face to face rather than clogging up the intertubes. It'll solve cyber harassment just like sending trucks around to round up the bums and drop them off outside the city limits solves homelessness.

I think South Korea needs to go back to the drawing boards on this one.

Information warfare? (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715631)

What are the chances of this being, at least in part, due to North Korea trying to sow disunity and chaos amongst the South?
For some reason, the mental image of Kim Jong-Il yelling across the DMZ: "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!" seems rather appropriate.

Dupe! (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715693)

We've already hashed this out [slashdot.org] once.

Re:Dupe! (1)

BlindFate (986152) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715809)

Shut up and give me your lunch money! Paypal works fine..

No such thing as "cyber bullying" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16715773)

I think most people on /. have made their way around the internet tubes and have seen the best and worst the internet has to offer. And while it's true that there are sometimes "mobs" of people (SA goons, for example) that can stir up trouble when they really want to, the fact of the matter is that the internet is the one place where you DON'T need to put up with the shit you see. Someone is harassing you on MSN messenger? Block them. They do it with a different account? Get a new account. Same goes for email or forums.

We already have the means to control what we want to see, and it's a Good Thing. What we don't need is the government telling us what we should and should not see; we are fully capable of managing that ourselves.

Now, the article talked about real harassment, which is hardly the same as "cyber bullying", but there are already laws against that (at least in the U.S.)

Re:No such thing as "cyber bullying" (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716289)

. . .we are fully capable of managing that ourselves.

Now if we could only figure out a way to manage managing the managers.

KFG

Title is misleading (1)

TJWitz (719055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715787)

It's not cyber bullying that's destroying online anonymity... it's the SK government.

What a novel idea! (1)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16715841)

Find something that everyone finds bad (bullying) and use it as an excuse to prevent anonymous free expression! I wonder how long until the US mandates this?

Just think about it, mandatory identification for your protection. It's just like the passport idea but on-line.

Gee, I wonder what company will win the bid to design and build the huge database for everyone's name and login id's?

Re:What a novel idea! (1)

libkarl2 (1010619) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716971)

Probably DiBold.

Re:What a novel idea! (1)

cemaco (665884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717697)

Why is it, that everyone assumes it has to be all or nothing?

In the real world there are venues where you can't participate without identifying yourself and others where you are expected to stay anonymous.

It should be the same way online. There are far too many idiots and predators that get away with a lot of crap because they figure they can't be identified. On the flipside there are also political dissidents who should be able to post online without having to worry about persecution.

Something along the same system as Slashdot already uses would work fine. You can have a traceable ID connected to who you really are, a virtual ID that is yours but not connected to your real world ID or post completely anonymous. Some venues would allow some forms but not others and where more than one is allowed, the readers can weigh the merits of the post based in part on whether the poster is willing to ID themselves. What's so difficult about that?

New set of social problems (1)

tjcrowder (899845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716127)

...spending so much time online has created a whole new set of social problems.

No. We have the same social problems we've always had. We're just seeing them in these new places we've created.

We've always had anonymous gangs.
We've always had mob culture.
We've always had people reacting by suppressing expression and freedom.

(I feel like David Byrne.)

Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was.

The good news is that the people who've been studying human behavior in "the real world" are now waking up to the fact that the internet is also "the real world." The separation was always artificial, and it's ending.

Beware! (1)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716279)

What with this, and the terror of fan death [wikipedia.org] , South Korea is a dangerous place indeed...

Re:Beware! (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716999)

You, sir, are a godsend. With this information about Fan Death in hand, I finally have a good counterexample every time I get lectured for not waiting a half hour to swim after eating.

Re:Beware! (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717267)

Hmmm, I think Myth Busters might have covered that one, but this fan thing.... I wonder if it's too silly, even for them.

Re:Beware! (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717389)

Fan death, FTW?

When you have a fan in a closed room, and it's blowing, where does it get the air from that it's blowing? The room. Where does it push it? The room.

*boggle*

Re:Beware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16725985)

Fan death. LOL. Like a fan "needs air" and it sucks air away from humans to blow. No, what's really happening here is different. I would strongly advise against having a fan on while sleeping. Ever see one of those cheap "beef jerky" making machines? (Cylinder shaped usually.) Same concept here. Fans can dry you out. If you had a dry mouth / low body water before going to bed, it MIGHT be possible that the fan would draw out more of your body water to an extreme as to cause death. Using an air conditioner only adds to the effect. (Air conditioners act like a de-humidifier.) Now imagine if you already live in a dry area. And if you're talking about an old person who might already have a lower than normal body water percentage and partially failing body. I can see death occuring. I would advise just turning off the fan and air conditioner when you sleep. It's silly to keep them on for any length of time while sleeping unless you like paying more on your utility bill.

Difficulty Imagining the Problem (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716301)

Hmm, I read the article, but I'm having difficulty imagining the problem. So people can defame you and make threats to you online, right? But in what form? Do they send you messages on your personal account (not email, obviously ;-) )? Do they post messages on public fora? Do they post material on their own blogs or websites? All of the above? I think the form this "bullying" takes is quite important for understanding and dealing with the problem.

to the south koreans (1)

SekShunAte (978632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716459)

grow up or i'll trip you, take your lunch money and give you a wedgie. Then you'll have something to cry about.

They may have tested a nuke up north, but... (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717157)

...this pretty much counts as the nuclear option in South Korea's war on cyberbullies. Sure, it should certainly annihilate the target, online bullying, along with legitimate criticism of the government, corporate and civil corruption whistleblowers, and, heck, probably even cybering rooms. It's a huge step backward for free Korean society.

On the plus side, I'm not quite so hopelessly envious of their median residential bandwidth anymore...

Remind anyone of another, older regime? (1)

twebb72 (903169) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718043)

Sounds to me like 21st century book burning. South Korea doesn't have the capabilities to destroy the collective knowledge of the internet, so they restrict its own population into ignorance and loss of impartial ideas. This is step #1 to mobilize minds under false pretense. There was another superpower who did this...

Re:Remind anyone of another, older regime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16719281)

South Koreans are pretty open to many things, I doubt they'll restrict speech or destroy collective knowledge, I wouldn't worry about that. South Korea has a problem with threats on the internet becoming real life with mobs running ISP's knowing who you are and able to get information about you, then eventually coming over your home to beat you up. I would be worried about that. It's a problem at net cafes too, where gangs come in and fight (yeah, NERD gangs, hehe). This is a pretty big problem in South Korea, and I'm sure they're trying to act accordingly to stop this.

Re:Remind anyone of another, older regime? (1)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16722957)

22 million machines in South Korea have the game 'Cart Racer'. Out of some 30 million.

Nerd and Normality are one in South Korea.

Wrong Title (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16719381)

"Cyber Bullying Destroys Anonymity" should read "Government Outlaws Internet Anonymity in Response to Cyber Bullying". Laws don't magically spring forth from citizen's bad behavior.

-Peter

Cyber Bullyshit, I smell (1)

elpapacito (119485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16724363)

Quite a transparent attempt to collect info on people , just give a look at the article

Online mobs first demonise those they disagree with, then the victim's home address, credit card details, and even their boss's phone numbers get passed around.

Yeah it is possible, it ALWAYS was possible, it's hardly news. Why don't people do that all the time ? Because they a LOT better and more entertaining stuff to do , only a few deraged psycopaths looking for attention do that stuff routinely.

Chun Seong Lee, Liaison Officer at the Cyber Terror Response Centre."It's happening a lot. In these situations people could lose their job, or it could affect their social life, even causing mental illness. That's all happening because of the development of the internet, of course."

That's insane, that's blaming internet for the trouble caused by few psycopaths. One can see a close parallel in american paranoid obsession for terrorism and the damage caused by this obsession, such as attacks on citizens accused to be "terror supporter" for merely DISAGREEING with the obsessed people, accusation of treason by keyboard warrior chickenhawks, incitation to hate. Some people profited on this obsession, expecially these around the "jingoism" business.

Similarly, the obsession with people exposing your personal data on the internet isn't CAUSED by the possibility of remaining _partially_ anonymous on the internet, but is caused by terrorizing tactiques of few "bullies" that can be traced with a little effort from police, without forcing the whole population to give up personal relevant information WHICH could also be easily hacked into and _really_ abused.

Next year a new law will come into force which will force Koreans to reveal their name and ID number before they share their opinions online.

Sure and if another iunta governemt, or quasi fascist government a-la GWB reach the power, your opinions may come back to haunt you. Or more probably, your employer doesn't like your exposing wrongdoing ..or even more probable, your opinion about people having actual human rights isn't appreciated in this company, we value profit above all thank you.

And if the cyberbully harrasses you tell him to fuck off and then leave them alone..without attention, they quickly go find themselves an easier target...maybe you can also pretend to be scared and then scare them back, if you really wanna be so frivolous to waste time with them.

Farfetched claims? (1)

Kwesadilo (942453) | more than 7 years ago | (#16726911)

The article says,

[Cyberbullying is] happening a lot. In these situations people could lose their job, or it could affect their social life, even causing mental illness. That's all happening because of the development of the internet, of course.

Am I missing something? How could you lose your job because of something somebody said about you on the Internet? How could you lose your job because of something somebody said about you off the Internet?
Boss: Hey, I heard on the Internet that you eat babies.
Employee: I never did that. Some people who hate me for no reason accused me falsely. Look, here's their website just for defaming me. Behold their lies.
Boss: Wow, they are pretty crazy. Now that I think about it, it doesn't make much sense that you would eat babies anyway. And to think that I was going to fire you...

Exactly what kind of mental illnesses is he talking about? I don't really understand how that would work. I mean, I guess being made fun of by people hurts your feelings, but that's not really an illness in my book. I seriously doubt that people are being so injured by the words brought against them that they become hysterical any time they get near a computer or anything like that.

I don't know where he gets off saying that all of these things, even if they do happen, are happening because of the Internet. People have been slandering each other since they learned how to talk. The Internet is just one of the many things that makes it easier to talk. It doesn't even make it that much easier for a would-be offender to reach the target, in that the target can just press the "Block"/"Warn"/"Report inappropriate content" button.

As for his claim that cyberbullying "could affect their social life," I wasn't aware that it was anybody else's job to look out for my social life.

They may be onto something here (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16727185)

some ISPs want the government to go further and to ban some people from being able to log onto the internet at all.

Hell, that's a great idea -- I definitely know several people who should be banned from logging onto the internet at all...

(This is a joke, for all you "Flamebait" and "Troll" moderators devoid of any sense of humor).

happens in US schools too (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 7 years ago | (#16736905)

Seems to be a vicious extension of the clique mentality at the junior to senior high level. Some bad people post web gossip about other people. Female victims are criticised for appearance and friends. Guys are often called fags.
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