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(Ars Technica)   How filesharing could bring down a government   (arstechnica.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, North Koreans, censorships, flash drives  
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8431 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Jun 2012 at 2:59 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-11 12:14:48 PM  
oddly enough, the government of North Korea and the highly capitalist RIAA/MPAA both agree that file sharing should result in years of imprisonment in forced labor camps.
 
2012-06-11 01:07:09 PM  
UH OH - the government has shut down arstechnica

PANIK!!
 
2012-06-11 01:27:10 PM  
Traded via memory sticks and mp3 players? Back in the 80s and 90s, we'd trade bootleg concerts in the mail. Now, everything is swapped and shared via downloads.

Though the media has changed, sounds like N. Korea is 20yrs behind the times.

/chrome tapes, no Dolby, no high speed dubs, don't mail the cases...
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-06-11 02:14:17 PM  
Soap operas from the South are incredibly popular-and the gap between what they're told about the South (that it's poor and repressive) versus what they see (young people in designer clothes having parties) is contributing to widespread disbelief in the regime's propaganda.

Do South Korean soap operas resemble reality any more than American soap operas?
 
2012-06-11 02:55:22 PM  
so we should buy up cheap pmps, load them with South Korean tv shows and movies and drop them into North Korea
 
2012-06-11 03:04:35 PM  
Funny that a place like China is their source for unvetted media...
 
2012-06-11 03:11:41 PM  
Yeah, it's going to be file sharing that brings down Best Korea. That's the straw.
 
2012-06-11 03:15:48 PM  
Cool picture with the Hotel of Doom in the background. Did they ever actually finish/open that thing?
 
2012-06-11 03:18:40 PM  
How can they even watch soap operas without electricity?
[BestKoreaAtNightSatellite.jpg]
 
2012-06-11 03:19:46 PM  

taurusowner: Cool picture with the Hotel of Doom in the background. Did they ever actually finish/open that thing?


Sort of. They got an Arab developer to clad the thing in mirrored glass and supposedly reinforce and stabilize the structure. No one can be certain what's inside.
 
2012-06-11 03:21:17 PM  

Earguy: Traded via memory sticks and mp3 players? Back in the 80s and 90s, we'd trade bootleg concerts in the mail. Now, everything is swapped and shared via downloads.

Though the media has changed, sounds like N. Korea is 20yrs behind the times.

/chrome tapes, no Dolby, no high speed dubs, don't mail the cases...


What the fark is wrong with you?
 
2012-06-11 03:25:08 PM  

Weaver95: oddly enough, the government of North Korea and the highly capitalist RIAA/MPAA both agree that file sharing should result in years of imprisonment in forced labor camps.


Another thing Al Fanken has in common with Commies, it seems.
 
2012-06-11 03:28:03 PM  
I can't wait for Robin Williams to star in "Pyongyang on the Hudson".
 
2012-06-11 03:28:37 PM  
Samizdat Sneakernet. it's my new alterna-NK-Pop band.
 
2012-06-11 03:30:18 PM  
Waiting for someone to post that cartoon where all the nations are anime girls... North Korea threatening to launch, the US mocks her saying something like 'it probably won't even float' ...
 
2012-06-11 03:30:56 PM  
www.geekadelic.com
 
2012-06-11 03:31:42 PM  
What kills me is that the US Gov't thinks that it can keep file sharing from happening when the most oppressive government on the planet can't even put a dent in it.

File sharing is here, and it is here to stay. If you don't want everyone to have access to something, keep it offline. That is the rule. That is the only rule. It is what the internet was made for, what it was designed to do. Moreover, it is not only too big to fail, it is too big to stop.
 
2012-06-11 03:39:24 PM  
FTA: A 44-year-old male from Chongjin (the third largest city in the DPRK, close to the Chinese border) told the authors of the report: "About 70-80 percent of people that have MP3/4 players are young people. When you do a crackdown of MP3/4 players among high school and university students, you see that 100 percent of them have South Korean music."

Wait... I thought they were starving and didn't have electricity??? Faux News lied!?!?!?
 
2012-06-11 03:51:39 PM  

JustSeanV67: FTA: A 44-year-old male from Chongjin (the third largest city in the DPRK, close to the Chinese border) told the authors of the report: "About 70-80 percent of people that have MP3/4 players are young people. When you do a crackdown of MP3/4 players among high school and university students, you see that 100 percent of them have South Korean music."

Wait... I thought they were starving and didn't have electricity??? Faux News lied!?!?!?


Christ. What?

I get what you're implying, and it's powerfully ignorant.
 
2012-06-11 03:54:34 PM  

JustSeanV67: FTA: A 44-year-old male from Chongjin (the third largest city in the DPRK, close to the Chinese border) told the authors of the report: "About 70-80 percent of people that have MP3/4 players are young people. When you do a crackdown of MP3/4 players among high school and university students, you see that 100 percent of them have South Korean music."

Wait... I thought they were starving and didn't have electricity??? Faux News lied!?!?!?


They have refrigerators, friend. REFRIGERATORS.
 
2012-06-11 03:57:35 PM  

JustSeanV67: Wai


Keep reading the article. A good chunk *don't* have electricity.

/It's still a pretty horrible place.
 
2012-06-11 03:58:57 PM  

Counter_Intelligent: JustSeanV67: FTA: A 44-year-old male from Chongjin (the third largest city in the DPRK, close to the Chinese border) told the authors of the report: "About 70-80 percent of people that have MP3/4 players are young people. When you do a crackdown of MP3/4 players among high school and university students, you see that 100 percent of them have South Korean music."

Wait... I thought they were starving and didn't have electricity??? Faux News lied!?!?!?

They have refrigerators, friend. REFRIGERATORS.


microwave ovens, custom kitchens, color TV

/maybe a blister on their little finger.
 
2012-06-11 03:59:35 PM  
Pretty horrible. I'd call getting a shovel kicked up your vagina until you're dead because your grandfather picked up a South Korean flyer pretty horrible, I guess.
 
2012-06-11 04:16:52 PM  

StopLurkListen: Waiting for someone to post that cartoon where all the nations are anime girls... North Korea threatening to launch, the US mocks her saying something like 'it probably won't even float' ...


I thought that was Russia. The US had no clue what was going on, Japan wanted to move, and so on.

(It'll need someone with better Google-fu than me to post, though. The only version I can find appears to be in Japanese and Russian).
 
2012-06-11 04:34:41 PM  

zimbach: taurusowner: Cool picture with the Hotel of Doom in the background. Did they ever actually finish/open that thing?

Sort of. They got an Arab developer to clad the thing in mirrored glass and supposedly reinforce and stabilize the structure. No one can be certain what's inside.


Looks like it belongs in the skyline of Blade Runner (maybe).

It could be just my impression since I'm watching a lot more Asian news lately (cut off my cable and one of the PBS stations shows foreign news almost constantly, much of it from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Vietnam but it seems to me NK is getting a little desperate for attention. Granted, I know they always have been to some degree but I'm convinced Kim Jong Un is the last of the dynasty and he won't last much longer than many of the Roman Emperors - only his "empire" is much smaller.

Did anyone ever figure out if those missiles they displayed a couple of months ago were mock-ups or real? And if they really did come from China because just about every expert agreed that NK couldn't have made them by themselves.
 
2012-06-11 04:47:44 PM  

ZAZ: Do South Korean soap operas resemble reality any more than American soap operas?


Slightly. They are set in a very real world. Usually Seoul.

Where the reality breaks down is the male protagonist is about as real as a unicorn. He's perfectly sensitive and understanding and nurturing in a way that no man on earth could ever be.
 
2012-06-11 04:52:47 PM  
US govt improvised munitions handbook put that on a million thumb drives and air drop. Then you've got filesharing bringing down the government.
 
2012-06-11 05:13:51 PM  

Millennium: StopLurkListen: Waiting for someone to post that cartoon where all the nations are anime girls... North Korea threatening to launch, the US mocks her saying something like 'it probably won't even float' ...

I thought that was Russia. The US had no clue what was going on, Japan wanted to move, and so on.

(It'll need someone with better Google-fu than me to post, though. The only version I can find appears to be in Japanese and Russian).


Oh, post a link to it anyway. My google-fu can't even achieve that. (I don't speak Russian, but I can sound out Cyrillic characters sometimes and sometimes figure it out. Plus, google translate, etc)
 
2012-06-11 05:18:09 PM  
I would think it's more of a threat to governments that place all of their faith in their IP industries.
 
2012-06-11 05:30:51 PM  
Fire up the steal choppers, bomb them with memory sticks filled with mp3's and virii
 
2012-06-11 05:38:37 PM  
The last paragraph:

it's worth noting that this report, like most that come out of North Korea, relies on sampling a very small subsection of DPRK society. Most refugees come from either Pyongyang or other richer border regions with China, as those are the sections of society with the material wealth and connections that give them a chance of defecting in the first place. The majority of the population lives in much poorer rural conditions and with more chance of being persecuted if caught with forbidden media. The report points out that only 16 percent of those questioned for the report said they had access to some kind of computer. Frequent power shortages make it unlikely that number will dramatically increase any time soon.

After the third paragraph said that "[c]onnected officials and elites are able to buy MP3 players, DVDs, and USB sticks from connections in China, and the contents are handed around surreptitiously. It's a modern twist on what was called "samizdat" in the USSR-forbidden books and pamphlets, copied and spread among activists in secret."

"Connected officials and elites" -- on other words the nomenklatura, who it turned out had the least to lose from the fall of Bolshevism because they could simply "privatize" what they already had control of. Cf. Trotsky, Orwell, Đilas and Cliff, besides of course those in my tradition, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Makhno et al.

These nomenklaturists are the very people entrusted by the government and Party, in the name of (though usually without the consent of) the people, to oversee, manage and administer the "socialist" system for the good of everyone (allegedly). It's no wonder they'd be getting and spreading (or letting their kids spread) this "samizdat": they see the state capitalist system they supposedly serve is on its way out, so they're glad to help destroy it, because they already have a good head start on the "free enterprise" system that will replace it. (Or maybe they'll call it "socialism with North Korean characteristics.") And of course the people with the best access to such "impure" materials are in the secret police or have very close links to it (as in "that's my Daddy!").

It would of course be a good thing for the DPRK to fall and its people be freed of it, but unless they want their country to be turned into a New & Improved!!! police state like Russia or China, they should immediately take a page from the Leninist and Maoist handbooks and eliminate nomenklatura as a class. The factory managers, Party bigwigs, officers in the military and the State Security Department (Best Korea's "KGB"), etc. etc. should be rounded up and shot, and their families and "clients" left with a small portion of the movable parts of these ill-gotten gains and marched over the nearest border.

In my humble opinion those literate in Korean and in positive moral principles have something very like an obligation to see that materials on democratic, anarchist and democratic socialism are included in this USB & P-to-P samizdat. Which, because I often hit on huge new ideas 40 years after everybody else has seen it on TV, has surely been going on for quite some time. Not everybody in the "ruling class" is doomed to be a monster.
 
2012-06-11 06:17:42 PM  
Am I the only one who read that as:
"How Fleshlights could bring down a government?"
 
2012-06-11 06:32:46 PM  
North Koreans are subverting their government's censorship by sharing files on USB sticks and MP3 players, claims a report.

They can afford MP3 players? And what do they plug their USB sticks into? Cardboard boxes?
 
2012-06-11 06:46:14 PM  

Honest Bender:
They can afford MP3 players? And what do they plug their USB sticks into? Cardboard boxes?


A Chinese MP3 player probably costs 10dollars, which I apparently is within the range of the elite.
 
2012-06-11 06:54:15 PM  
Honest Bender:

North Koreans are subverting their government's censorship by sharing files on USB sticks and MP3 players, claims a report.

They can afford MP3 players? And what do they plug their USB sticks into? Cardboard boxes?


Now what could give me the impression you didn't read the farking article?
 
2012-06-11 06:59:08 PM  

Action Seal: Pretty horrible. I'd call getting a shovel kicked up your vagina until you're dead because your grandfather picked up a South Korean flyer pretty horrible, I guess.


huh?
 
2012-06-11 07:00:23 PM  
I know on Hulu there is a buttload of Korean tv series. Many of them seem to be long running which usually means it has a good plot. If I could only have 1 guilty pleasure, it would be high quality fiction. Whether read or viewed they are all enough to keep me thinking.
 
2012-06-11 07:15:29 PM  

The One True TheDavid: Honest Bender:

North Koreans are subverting their government's censorship by sharing files on USB sticks and MP3 players, claims a report.

They can afford MP3 players? And what do they plug their USB sticks into? Cardboard boxes?

Now what could give me the impression you didn't read the farking article?


They wrote an article?! On what? Cardboard boxes?!
 
2012-06-11 07:32:12 PM  
They have cardboard boxes? Made from what? Cardboard boxes?
 
2012-06-11 07:50:41 PM  

BKITU: They have cardboard boxes? Made from what? Cardboard boxes?


Reconstituted forced labor.
 
2012-06-11 07:53:31 PM  

Weaver95: capitalist


therepublika.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-06-11 07:54:20 PM  

schattenteufel: Am I the only one who read that as:
"How Fleshlights could bring down a government?"


I honestly hope so.
 
2012-06-11 08:08:10 PM  

ZAZ: Do South Korean soap operas resemble reality any more than American soap operas?


Having spent a year in South Korea, I can tell you that they no little of either soap or opera.
 
2012-06-11 08:38:36 PM  

pudding7: Action Seal: Pretty horrible. I'd call getting a shovel kicked up your vagina until you're dead because your grandfather picked up a South Korean flyer pretty horrible, I guess.

huh?


Oh, I was just using an evocative (but real) example of why DPRK apologists anger me. I really shouldn't have responded to Felgraf, seeing as how he weren't the one who I was directing my snark at.
 
2012-06-11 10:09:21 PM  

Felgraf: JustSeanV67: Wai

Keep reading the article. A good chunk *don't* have electricity.

/It's still a pretty horrible place.


The article also said DPRK has "one of the highest levels of 3G penetration in the world". What's up with that? I always hear that they have zero cell service in the entire country.
 
2012-06-11 10:53:29 PM  

Honest Bender: The One True TheDavid: Honest Bender:

North Koreans are subverting their government's censorship by sharing files on USB sticks and MP3 players, claims a report.

They can afford MP3 players? And what do they plug their USB sticks into? Cardboard boxes?

Now what could give me the impression you didn't read the farking article?

They wrote an article?! On what? Cardboard boxes?!


No no no. The article the submitter linked to. On the BBC News website. About North Korea. That one. Which you didn't read.

So. Do you swallow?
 
2012-06-11 11:25:00 PM  
Weaver95:

oddly enough, the government of North Korea and the highly capitalist RIAA/MPAA both agree that file sharing should result in years of imprisonment in forced labor camps.

What makes you think North Korea isn't capitalist? All that really changed is the "new class" collectively owns and administers the means of production with which they squeeze profits from the workers, much as big stockholders own shares in, and board officers run, corporations here.

You can't have true socialism without workers' self-management and a democratic social order. The Leninist-Stalinist countries never had that: the Bolshevik coup in 1917 and the ensuing "troubles" destroyed any chance of democratic socialism in most of the world for at least 100 years. Strictly speaking Stalin wasn't necessary, as the Trotskyist program was for "democracy" within the Inner Party, more of a friendly oligarchy than a personal dictatorship, not for a free and democratic society for and of "the broad masses."

And of course you can't have true communism while there's still a government that coerces and controls, which is itself the definition of "government." Communism is free cooperation among equals; nothing Obama could ever propose to Congress could ever come anywhere near it.

(Surely you know this, even if you are only 17; I just love to lecture for the edification of all Humankind.)
 
2012-06-12 12:21:28 AM  

zimbach: taurusowner: Cool picture with the Hotel of Doom in the background. Did they ever actually finish/open that thing?

Sort of. They got an Arab developer to clad the thing in mirrored glass and supposedly reinforce and stabilize the structure. No one can be certain what's inside.


It's still not open. They wanted it to open in April, in time for the centennial of Kim Il-sung's birth, but that didn't happen...

On a side note, where did North Koreans manage to get a hold of USB sticks, MP3 players, computers and electricity?
i.i.com.com
 
2012-06-12 12:29:29 AM  

ZAZ: Soap operas from the South are incredibly popular-and the gap between what they're told about the South (that it's poor and repressive) versus what they see (young people in designer clothes having parties) is contributing to widespread disbelief in the regime's propaganda.

Do South Korean soap operas resemble reality any more than American soap operas?


The author is behind the times. For several years DPRK has stopped with the whole "we're doing better than everyone else" thing because too many people have not only seen the TV shows, they've snuck in to China and seen it's not true.
 
2012-06-12 12:34:19 AM  

spawn73: Honest Bender:
They can afford MP3 players? And what do they plug their USB sticks into? Cardboard boxes?

A Chinese MP3 player probably costs 10dollars, which I apparently is within the range of the elite.


Lots of electronics in North Korea, largely sent by relatives in Japan and traded for food or smuggled in from China.
 
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