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South Korean Man Given Suspended Sentence For Retweeting NK Propaganda

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  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @02:24PM (#42057995)
    If people keep retweeting that kind of propaganda it might infect South Korea with totalitarianism and restrictions on things like speech.
    • It's also important to ask if the retweets constituted actual agreement, or whether they were done in hipster fashion, ironically.
      • Re:Thank goodness... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @02:56PM (#42058453) Journal

        From the articles:

        Mr. Park, who is 24 years old, had told the court he spread the messages as a way of lampooning North Korea. ...

        “There is something left to be desired in the court ruling that (my act was) intended to benefit the enemy though,” he added. “The National Security Law should be revised as quickly as possible.

        In a North Korean post that he tweaked and sent out on Twitter, he replaced a swarthy North Korean soldier’s face with a downcast version of his own and the soldier’s rifle with a bottle of whiskey.

          In his ruling, the presiding judge, Shin Jin-woo, acknowledged that some of Mr. Park’s posts were parody. But he said Mr. Park’s overall acts were tantamount to “supporting and joining forces with an antistate entity.” The justice said his court suspended the prison term, however, because Mr. Park promised not to repeat his act.

          Prosecutors argued that Mr. Park’s Twitter posts served as a dangerous tool for spreading North Korean propaganda.

      • by OakDragon (885217)

        Check if his avatar is a Pabst Blue Ribbon can.

    • by harks (534599)
      If you can get prison time for "praising" the wrong country, I can't think of any better example of a totalitarian restriction on speech.
      • *woosh*
      • by Meeni (1815694) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:19PM (#42061405)

        They are still at war with NK, you know. It's been 60 years, but they are still at war. And not always cold, as the bombing of civilians last year recall, or the sinking of navy units 2 years ago by a submarine. Praising a country you are actively at war with is often seen as treason, even in free countries. You may or may not agree, but it is not unusual.

    • by harks (534599)
      I can't believe I missed your sarcasm. Brilliant, sir.
    • North Korea tweets?

  • i would bet if you flipped this backwards the guy himself would have been hung

  • Man breaks local law and gets punished for it, film at 11. Why is this an issue? In Thailand you get thrown in jail for simply disrespecting the king, in Singapore you'll get hung (or at least caned) for carrying the smallest amount of illegal drugs. the world is not completely homogenous (at least not yet).

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Maybe we hipsters just like the irony of restricting speech in order to be free. Or maybe we like anything involving Best Korea.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Canada also has laws against disrespecting the queen (more specifically, alarming her in any way). There's also a law that says you may not be in a residential area at night (prowling), amongst other silly laws that rarely get enforced. Let's not forget the hate speech laws...

      This doesn't mean these countries (including mine) aren't absolutely idiotic for having them.

      • by tnk1 (899206) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @03:23PM (#42058791)

        Canada also has laws against disrespecting the queen (more specifically, alarming her in any way). There's also a law that says you may not be in a residential area at night (prowling), amongst other silly laws that rarely get enforced. Let's not forget the hate speech laws...

        This doesn't mean these countries (including mine) aren't absolutely idiotic for having them.

        There are a lot of crazy people who, for some reason, like discharging unloaded firearms at or in the presence of royalty. I think it has happened to Queen Elizabeth at least once and it happened to Queen Victoria a few times, and neither perpetrator was doing it for any other reason than being crazy. Basically, since the firearm was unloaded, it was was not an attack, but discharging firearms or making loud noises like that around the head of state is usually not a good thing for anyone. That is why countries associated with the UK may have laws about "alarming" the monarch, because the usual cause of the alarm involves explosions, firearms, or situations that are particular to being a head of state.

        I agree, though, there are a lot of silly laws out there, but something like lese majeste, used to be a very serious crime when monarchies were not as constitutional as they are now, and even most common people might call for it to be enforced. In Thailand, they still make great use of that law, but ironically, it is actually used more by the elected government against people criticizing the country than by the King himself. The King frequently pardons people accused of that crime. Of course, with everything having to do with Thailand, it is not entirely certain how much the King is involved in the actual governance. Some people think he's purely a figurehead, except his great popularity, and some think that he's quietly running the whole thing himself.

        • Basically, since the firearm was unloaded, it was was not an attack, but discharging firearms or making loud noises like that around the head of state is usually not a good thing for anyone.

          How does one discharge an unloaded firearm?`

          • by mjwx (966435)

            Basically, since the firearm was unloaded, it was was not an attack, but discharging firearms or making loud noises like that around the head of state is usually not a good thing for anyone.

            How does one discharge an unloaded firearm?`

            Hold the firearm away from the body.
            Pull the trigger.
            Shout loudly "Bang, I say Bang old bean"

          • Load it with one round, then when you discharge it, it is an unloaded firearm.
      • That's probably a precursor to the anti-hoax laws, so if you fire blanks at the you don;t just get let off with a breach of the peace charge (and so you can't complain when some policeman mistakes it for live firing and shoots back).

    • Because we're all human beings, and therefore equally qualified to criticize any culture or government that would take away someone's rights.

      "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." - Optimus Prime

    • by detritus. (46421)

      Man breaks local law and gets punished for it, film at 11. Why is this an issue? In Thailand you get thrown in jail for simply disrespecting the king, in Singapore you'll get hung (or at least caned) for carrying the smallest amount of illegal drugs. the world is not completely homogenous (at least not yet).

      This is nothing but modern-day McCarthyism. Freedom of speech is a human rights issue, and we have to stop supporting governments who do this, even our own.

  • I'm curious... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ctk76 (531418) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @02:43PM (#42058285)
    I'm genuinely curious. What would happen in the US if I tweet messages praising Al-Qaeda and retweeted their propaganda and warnings about terrorism?
    • you would get more than a suspended sentence.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Twitter would probably lock your account. Someone might get assigned to watch your behavior, but since you're a non-trivial donator to Democrat causes, it would quickly get dismissed as anti-Bush behavior and perfectly acceptable. Within three months, your Twitter account will be mentioned in a presidential speach explaining the abundance of freedoms in this country.

    • retweet! (Score:5, Funny)

      by schlachter (862210) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @03:19PM (#42058737)

      You would need to pack your belongings and immediately retweet to a safer location like Iwan.

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      If you simply retweeted them, and only let's say, typed an IRONY tag around them, you might have to deal with the government saying you were giving material aid.

      If you made it pretty darn clear that you were lampooning them, particularly by adjusting the text to something ridiculous, you'd probably get away with parody.

      You need to be careful with verbatim copies of that information, because often the messages themselves are crafted to have a psychological effect, and so one way that a real sympathizer could

    • by detritus. (46421)

      What the fuck are you talking about? These tweets aren't promoting terrorism, it's promoting nationalism and communism.
      I don't think you know the first thing about the DPRK and why it's such a paranoid and authoritative government.
      What South Korea did was just as bad as they are. The difference is the latter isn't isolated from the rest of the world.

    • by lcrocker (144720)

      You'd be called an asshole. You'd probably get a lot of threats. The Police might even come question you. But when they discover you're just a harmless jerk, they'd leave, and they'd even go investigate the people who made threats against you to see which of them might actually be dangerous. If you actually provided material aid to them in some way, we might have a different story.

    • Well, I think if you could show you were doing parody you would be fine but...

      If you translated the tweet and re-tweeted you would potentially be guilty of giving "assistance" or a terrorist organization for your actions as a translations service.

      There is a case where an NGO went to meet with people affiliated groups our country considers terrorist to teach them peaceful means of conflict resolution and tactics. Basically they wanted to show them that there were peaceful ways to get what they wanted. Our

    • by istartedi (132515)

      I'm quite certain there are people advocating Sharia and other such craziness in the USA, and nothing happens to them. The problems would come if you actually started organizing. Also, you and your followers would be subject to intense scrutiny. IMHO, If you had a Twitter account that followed Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc. it would be fully Constitutional to do more intense surveillance on the person behind that. It could be warranted in every sense of the word.

      I don't think it would be too hard to find such ac

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I'm genuinely curious. What would happen in the US if I tweet messages praising Al-Qaeda and retweeted their propaganda and warnings about terrorism?

      Nothing. You just go right ahead.

      Signed, your local Secret Service Operative.

  • Has anyone taken a look at some of the retweets this guy is responsible for?

    'Best Korea: who has more Seoul? We do!'
    'Don't shoot! Don't shoot, I'm typing as fast'
    'KJU: Highest score Galaga'
    'and Asteroids'
    'KJU: The REAL King of Kong'
    'Kim Jung-un 12"'
    'Kim Jung-un retains championship belt for Real Korea Ultimate Fighting'

     

  • South Korea and North Korea and technically still at war. He is lucky that he isn't tried as a spy.
    • by v1 (525388)

      Makes one wonder who would be out of their mind enough to spy for north korea? Though I suppose there's good odds that anyone they let loose out of their borders has their entire family at gunpoint if they decide to run.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Makes one wonder who would be out of their mind enough to spy for north korea? Though I suppose there's good odds that anyone they let loose out of their borders has their entire family at gunpoint if they decide to run.

        I think the point is rather more that if you were a spy for North Korea in South Korea you wouldn't blow your cover by posting pro-NK shit on the internet.

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      Yeah, it's a little silly, but it is important to remember that the people who are making and enforcing these laws are probably living and working in Seoul, which is in firing range of literally thousands of NK artillery pieces. They may be a little more unforgiving of anyone who repeats NK propaganda, even ironically.

  • If you can be punished for saying the wrong thing on social media, then we should consider social media as a liability. Only post things that the court of law would deem appropriate.

    It's like big brother gave you a terminal to type into. Whatever you say can and will be used against you.

    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Anything you say always could and would be used against you. The only difference here is how many people hear you. But as a test of this, try standing in your living room and saying, "everybody down, I have a bomb, give me all your money". They go to something where more people can hear you like a bank and do the same.

      • by dehole (1577363)

        Yes, I understand the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" concept. It just seems foolish to put on the record, all of your social speech.

        Everything you say to your friends on facebook, for example, can easily be used against you. Or Google Chat, or any service like Twitter. You may not be required to use your real name, but they have your IP, and all of your "friends", so we have taken what we typically said in private at parties, and put it out in the open, so that at anytime in your life, it can be use

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          Ah.. I see. I thought you were complaining that someone hearing your speech could get you in trouble when in reality, you are saying be careful where you make your speech because it can/will be used against you at some time.

  • If we all just ignore North Korea, maybe they will go away.
  • Here is his twitter feed [twitter.com]. Much to nobody's surprise, it's in Korean.
  • Dear South Korean government, The stupid need a voice too. How can people learn how stupid they are if they are not allowed to display their stupidity. Thanks, Concerned Citizen of the World
  • by marvinglenn (195135) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @04:05PM (#42059317)
    Instead of bothering with punishment in SK, why not just help him emigrate to NK? Maybe after he's lived there, he'll realize what a crap hole it is and try to help the place go Gangnam Style.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    the only defense the powerless have against the powerful is anonymity

    that is why the powerful want to destroy the anonymous internet

    if the guy had hadn't associated his real name with his account then used twitter through tor or an out of country vpn he would still have his freedom

    lesson learned, if you do anything that might possibly get the attention of those with the power to harm you don't let them know it was you who did it

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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