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The Internet Censorship Technology

The Information Age: North Korean Style 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the disinformation-superhighway dept.
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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The Information Age: North Korean Style

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:36AM (#41931509) Journal

    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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by del_diablo (1747634)

      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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        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...)

      • by dintech (998802) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:22AM (#41931993)

        who shall replace North Korea as a meme?

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

        • 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.

        • Yeah, but we all know that's only going to be for another six months before shit goes down. Then what?
    • by durrr (1316311) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:10AM (#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.

      • by dave420 (699308)
        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.
        • by NEW22 (137070) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:56AM (#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!

        • by tnk1 (899206)

          Wouldn't work anyway. The people who could actually receive devices are the NK equivalent of 1984's Outer Party. They're a minority of bureaucrats whose job it is to maintain the existing status quo. There's not enough of them to start a revolution, and they probably wouldn't know what to do with one if they did.

          Those people already know the real score anyway. Maybe a not full understanding of how fucked they are, but they have some idea.

        • Such as what? Begging them permission to send them food they can't manage to get themselves? I seem to recall Dear Leader turning down aid on more than one occasion because it would have been admitting in some small way that North Korea was imperfect.

          Also, "actively pissing NK" off? They're in a constant state of being convinced the genetically inferior rest of the world is attacking them, no matter what we do. Their country is based on paranoia and xenophobia as much as it is based on love/fear of
      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:30AM (#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.)

        • 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.

          • Even at 25dBi, you have a very narrow beam -- I have such an antenna, and aiming it properly is quite a bit of work.

            It is also worth noting that when you hear about long-distance wifi setups (say, 4km, the width of the DMZ), you are usually talking about a directional antenna on both ends and careful aiming. Directional-to-omni is substantially harder, especially when the omni end is transmitting at 1W or less (and a typical laptop or tablet will be transmitting at a much lower power than that). Sector
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:31AM (#41932121) Journal

        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...

      • 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?
    • In other news North Korea Finally invents a Spam solution for e-mail that doesn't fall pray to the standard checklist of reasons spam filters will fail.

    • by Ltap (1572175)
      It's simpler than that. People just want to use the word "revolution" to refer to something, regardless of its influence on society (which is what actually constitutes a revolution: a radical change in society).
  • "Information age"? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) *

    Propaganda isn't information.

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

  • They should allow access to the obvious North American news sites. The propaganda is already done for them. No worries ...
    • by na1led (1030470)
      Kim Jong-un News - Chabez News - Obama News; I'm sure there is a lot in common.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

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

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

  • 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)

  • Expect unification (Score:1, Interesting)

    by udachny (2454394)

    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 commu

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      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.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      uhh..

      That's the obvious solution. do you know what's keeping it from happening? the people in North Korea who have the power in NK.
      Why the fuck do you think they would like to go on a trip to Hague?

      Btw a market solution would be a centrally planned solution - because of the shit they've been upto in the commie-dictato-inherited-crimes(concentration camp because you're guilty by association) Korea. There just can't be an orderly transition from that - those who would face jail and courts for the things they

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:48AM (#41931613)

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

  • by na1led (1030470) on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:48AM (#41931617)
    Cheap Tablets with limited 3G bandwidth and full access to the Internet. Let the real revolution start!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        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.

      • by na1led (1030470)
        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.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

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

      • by Issarlk (1429361)
        Even worse: using what power infrastructure ? Tablets need electricity to run. And it looks like the majority of north korea has no such thing.
    • Even if, such a revolution would just end up with more blood, for the blood god, regardless of who won.

    • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:29AM (#41932095) Homepage

      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.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        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...

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        look man, sending them recipes is just _CRUEL_.

        that's like finns broadcasting cooking tv shows to estonia during the reign of the ussr... oh wait we did that.

    • by tgd (2822)

      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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:59AM (#41932497) Journal

      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.

      • by na1led (1030470)
        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.
        • by aembleton (324527)
          WTF, did you read his reply?

          I'm sure he's aware that a cell tower near the DMZ could reach into North Korea. However, the only village near the DMZ is a propoganda village: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kij%C5%8Fng-dong [wikipedia.org] where nobody lives.

          Also, anything that transmits can be detected and located. You do know what transmit means don't you?

          Yes you can create mesh networks in Africa because in Africa you can transmit without being hunted down and placed in a forced labour camp along with your parent
      • From what I have read, you are about 30 years late on your information. At one time, it was like that and on top of it all, most of the population were true believers that were more than happy to turn you in. The only people to cross the border were usually the privledged or military who were in a spot where they feared for their lives. These days, they've done away with much of the blood guilt that would kill your family as well as you for such things and the boarder is much more porous. South Korean soap
        • by aembleton (324527)

          . These days, they've done away with much of the blood guilt that would kill your family

          Have you got any sources to back this up? It doesn't have to be particularly authoritive as NK is so restrictive this would be hard to get.

          Human Rights Watch reported in 2007 it was getting harsher: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,HRW,,PRK,45fff1b92,0.html [unhcr.org]

          It may well have improved; I'd just like to read about it.

  • NK $p4m (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:48AM (#41931625)

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

  • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Friday November 09, 2012 @10:55AM (#41931695) Homepage

    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.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      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.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      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?

      Why bother? If you want to spread propaganda (or other information) to poor people, radio is the ideal medium. Small radios that can receive AM/MW signals are what westerners would consider nearly free, and MW signals can propagate hundreds of miles. In fact for those near the broadcast can put together AM/MW radios from any scraps of wire, dismantling a pair of

      • by Muad'Dave (255648)

        No argument there, I clearly understand the utility of broadcast radio propaganda. Are typical NK citizens allowed to own SW radios that receive 'Despicable Western Decadent Broadcasts (tm)' ? If not, owning one could get you killed. For a radio to be useful to a propagandist, the citizen has to actively tune in to get the message. Sending unsolicited text messages gets the message across whether the recipient wants it or not.

        • by evilviper (135110)

          Radios are extremely easy to hide. Just ask the French Resistance... These days they can be microscopic.

          And I'd recomend MW over Shortwave. North Koreans don't generally speak English, so the bulk of available shortwave programming will be lost on them. And with the biggest potential international broadcaster right next door, the extra range really isn't necessary.

          • by Muad'Dave (255648)

            I agree that radio has a place, but I think you've missed the gist of what using SMS gains.

            For someone to hear an outside message with a radio, they must first know about and want to hear the message badly enough to perhaps risk their life hiding a radio.

            For someone to hear an outside message via SMS, they must only have a 'party approved' cell phone. They don't have to know anything else - the message is pushed to them without their knowledge (or consent), and they can plausibly deny that they wanted to re

    • by Solandri (704621)
      They already do that with radio and TV (NK versions only have one or two channels). NK just jams the signals near the borders. From what defectors say, most of their information about the rest of the world actually comes across the border with China.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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!

  • 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 respon
    • It's just because they know blocking everyone else is more difficult. They'd even attempt world domination if they believed they could.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:09AM (#41931837)

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

    • by na1led (1030470)
      I don't need to imagine it, I'm already living it.
    • by jittles (1613415)
      Why can we not keep up with the technological advances of the Great Leader of NK? I mean, this is the future of the internet, is it not? So why are they getting it before us?
    • I have to wonder what country you are referencing. Because it couldn't possibly be the US. Unless, of course, you live outside the US and, like many foreigners, assume all of us are FoxNews-watching, shotgun-carrying, truck-driving, rednecks, hellbent on destroying every nation on earth that isn't us. But hey, believe whatever you want.
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:09AM (#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>

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:30AM (#41932105) Homepage

    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.

    • by Eevee (535658)

      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

      • by Hatta (162192)

        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.

    • 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 o

      • by Hatta (162192)

        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

        • by mha (1305)

          You lack something called "insight" and "empathy", OR you are the only person who does not know that for MANY Americans joining the military is their ONLY chance to get a good education and a chance to a reasonable life. Sure, it's THEIR fault that they joined, they could have done what I did and get a great university education (free in my case, Germany - I did live in the US for more than 7 yrs too) to earn lots of money (IT, programming). If they did not do that, it MUST be THEIR FAULT. Yeah, right.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            for MANY Americans joining the military is their ONLY chance to get a good education and a chance to a reasonable life.

            That's all the more reason not to spend the best years of their life protecting the plutocracy.

        • by cffrost (885375)

          Fuck them all.

          Fuck Bradley Manning?

    • by Colven (515018)

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

    • by JigJag (2046772)

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

      Glad to see that coming from someone who was in the middle of it.

      Changing (twisting?) the meaning of words is no new feat. Of course most people would think of Orwell's newspeak when discussing this point, but did you know that it was mentioned way earlier by a French revolutionary named Jean-Paul Marat in his book "Chains of Slavery" published in 1774?

      Here's a link to the book in English: http://www.jpmarat.de/english/jpmie.html [jpmarat.de]. It details the process to Tyranny as a warning example.
      Unfortunately, the int

  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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!
  • North Korea is a walking talking Orwell country

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • Why doesn't North Korea just use some version of Apple's walled garden? It sounds perfect for them.
  • 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.

    This sounds like the American (and worldwide) Internet until 20-25 years ago.

    Remember, folks, Arpanet, NSFNet, and most of the other major pieces of what became the Internet was largely funded by US government dollars with heavy restrictions on what it could be used for. Outside of military- and government-use networks and "next-gen" research networks ("Internet 2," etc.), those restrictions were gradually lifted in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    I'm predicting North Korea will see its Eternal September an

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