Blog Post Response

Modi Talk


Korea Documentary

Theme and Task

You are to make a short analysis based on either the talk made by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi or on the short documentary on Korea. The blog post does not need to reflect rigorous standards of academic writing such as the use of citations or references but it should demonstrate substantial analysis based on your recent experience on the course and subject.

Word limit: 800 – 1000 words.

This exercise is worth 8% of the overall grade.

Time Frame: 02/10 – 02/17 (Midnight): This Page will be taken offline by 02/17 Midnight, make sure you have your responses in by then


14 thoughts on “Blog Post Response

    Ness Billimoria said:
    February 11, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Narendra Modi, in this address at the ‘Google Big Tent Active Summit’, speaks about technology and its place in today’s political landscape. No politician seems a better choice to speak on this topic than the Indian Prime Minister, whose victory in 2014’s parliamentary elections was largely due to his team’s understanding of the value of technology, and more specifically, social media.
    PM Modi begins with a quote that is very apt to this topic and this speech- “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn.” He says that this applies to everybody in all spheres of life, especially politicians. By this he is implying how the landscape of politics has changed and continues to change, in this case, through technology. He draws on the past, talking about how the pen and paper, public address systems, motion pictures have all aided politician-citizen connectivity. He stresses on the fact that no technology has had a larger impact on politics than the World Wide Web has had today.
    The Prime Minister says that citizens or netizens have a direct say on policies set today thanks to the internet, I do agree that citizens do have a say, but I do not believe that the impact is direct. The government always has the right to listen or not listen to the citizens’ comments. The PM is one of the most “accessible” world leaders due to his constant connectivity through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. He says that this platform allows citizens of a democracy to support criticize policies and at the same time educate each other through debates.
    Due to the ease at which citizens can criticize the government on social media platforms, Modi says that the internet has become a challenge for the political class, not just in India, but around the globe. Today, a politician with ambition would almost be guaranteed a loss in an election if he/she does not interact with citizens through the internet. It is what makes a politician accessible. Social media can do what advertising cannot, i.e., show the human side of the public personality in the form of photos, quotes, and so on.
    He speaks in detail about Gujarat’s use of technology in administrative functions. Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat till he became PM in 2014. As CM, he led Gujarat to becoming India’s fastest growing state economically, another factor that greatly aided his pan-India popularity. He spoke about Gujarat using various technologies, from the “basic to the cutting-edge”. For instance, every village panchayat or head office was set up with broadband connectivity barring none, in order for the village heads to connect to the state legislative offices in Ahmedabad. Video-conferencing was extensively used, he says. Another feat by Modi in terms of technology was his introduction of e-voting in the Gujarat local elections. He speaks about this briefly, talking about how it makes the lives of the people easier and I’m sure encourages people to vote. PM Modi also spoke about “basic technology”. He referred to SMS. In 2006, Gujarat experienced major flooding. The sheer amount of rainfall was staggering, but the authorities did forecast this. The government then swung into action by SMSing citizens about safety information, where to go for shelter, how to prepare, and so on. He boasts that not a single life was lost due to the use of this technology.
    During the Indian general elections, Modi pioneered the use of 3D holograms during his speeches. This way he could be in many places in once. He said that he was once in 53 different places through the medium of these holograms. Apart from the obvious benefit of more ‘face-time’ with voters, Modi said that the use of these holograms saved his party time, money and effort. His main opposition party used the conventional method of travelling to a lot more places than Modi’s party did, but it just goes to show the effect that these holograms had.
    Politics and technology seem to be a lethal combination, but if understood well and utilized properly (like Modi), politicians can make serious gains. As he jokes towards the end of his speech, technology in politics is good, but we needed to keep politics out of technology, with which I couldn’t agree more.

    Michael LeFevre said:
    February 14, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    After watching the documentary on the Secrets of the Korean- Cyber War, I believe that it is extremely necessary for the South Korean government to take the necessary steps in preventing their privacy, citizen’s well-being and government-related issues protected. It is quite obvious that the North Koreans have not only imposed threats of nuclear weapons, but have also declared war on the cyber space. “Hacking” is no longer limited to clicking on a pop-up ad and resulting in a virus, or the PlayStation Network crashing for an hour or two; no, hacking is much more serious now, and has resulted in the losses of millions of dollars and confidential information.

    As the documentary mentions, the North Korean government has been consistently engaging the “most outstanding people” in “professional development of software”. After the completion of their “training”, they are now basically “soldiers of cyber terror war” says Jange Se-Yul, a former hacker for the South Korean cyber warfare unit. With the continuation of the North’s efforts against the South, I believe it is crucial that the South implements stronger security, and perhaps takes the oppositional approach, and create a division dedicated to improving their own cyber attack force. The North Koreans are attacking major websites, and creating huge damage and getting away with it, because the knowledge of the cyber space and detection of criminal activity is very limited. This new form of warfare is considered “cyber terror”; and cyber terrorism needs to be addressed and solved, as much, if not more, than normal acts of terror.

    The North Korean government and its cyber attackers believe that if they attack not only the military, but also the South’s financial sector, and banking system, which will ultimately shut down the state. This new belief is extremely terrifying and needs to be taken into consideration with precaution. If the North shuts down the banking system in South Korea, that could have major implications on the South’s trading partners, and create an international restructuring of the trading system. If a hacker can hack a software program of a nuclear energy plant, or a food factory, this could become a massive problem, and I do not think we have considered these implications enough.

    The Central Intelligence Agency needs to take this as a threat, and perhaps take after the South, and create schools or programs dedicated to how to detect a cyber attack or cyber strike by North Korea, or any country for that matter. The South Korean government continues to create complex programs and software that help prevent attacks on the cyber space, but as shown in the video, common citizens can help in providing information to the North Korean people to revolt against the Kim regime. As the public fills helium-filled balloons with information and propaganda brochures against the North Korean government to North Korea via natural resources, wind; they slowly but surely start to provide hope to the people of North Korea stuck in hunger and oppression under the Kim regime. These balloons of hope could one day help in overthrow the Kim regime, and allow people to live without fear of oppression and their government.

    As for the United States, I believe that the US needs to also help aid in the development of security on the cyber-space. Since the North Koreans have been planning for cyber warfare as early as the 1989’s, they may be a few steps ahead of other countries government agencies and will be able to infiltrate those systems. Under the Kim regime, the United States may be susceptible to attacks from North Korea, and I believe that unless we joint forces and technology with other countries, we may not be prepared. As Kim Hung-Kwang, one of the architects of North Korea’s cyber warfare program points out, cyber warfare may not have the fear factor of nuclear weapons, but has the potential to be just as devastating: “No drinkable water, nuclear power plants exploding, planes crashing. The damage can be massive”.

    So the next time you’re doing some online banking, or making a purchase on the Internet, you might want to reconsider how “secure” your information really is. We’ve been taught time and time again that “nothing you put on the Internet is really gone forever” but this usually only implied to pictures of alcohol or drugs. Now, it has become social security numbers, bank information, addresses, and confidential information that is becoming virtually easily accessible by teenagers groomed by the North Korean government for cyber-terrorism. If governments do not start doing more research on cyber space, and how to prevent attacks, I am very worried as to exactly how far some attacks will go, and just when they will be stopped. Cyber attacks are no longer guessing your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram passwords, it is hacking the information of Department of Defenses and computers of political figures and major corporations.

    Emilio Nilooban said:
    February 15, 2016 at 1:52 am

    In watching “The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War”, it was amazing to witness how technologically-adept South Korea was domestically. The creation of media poles and PC bangs within the country shows how South Korea is slowly transforming into this cyber state which has erected new opportunities and problems, all thanks to evolution of the internet and the exchange of a never-ending arsenal of big data. In contrast with the United States, South Korea has taken eSports to a completely different level; making professional gamers on the same level as professional basketball or golf players. South Korea enabled opportunities for gamers to earn income and potentially become an idol in the eyes of gamers that extend beyond South Korea. Twitch, a live streaming video platform, is a site that focuses on live video-game broadcasting which includes eSports competitions.

    Although all this may look bright and opportunistic, one has to also understand the negative implications that arise from this new form of entertainment and the potential problems it can create domestically. As stated in the video, there have been various cases in which internet addictions has brought in domestic unrest and had a negative effect on peoples’ lives. Being too immersed into cyberspace can put someone’s mind out of reality and can prove to be life threatening to society (i.e. shootings and miscellaneous killings which include the baby death example in the video). In a sense, big data has given birth to this new form of domestic threat and brings to question whether the government should intervene for the sake of national security and human rights.

    On a completely different note, the video then shifts into talking about its international conflict with it’s neighbor North Korea which is imperative to understand how crucial cybersecurity has become in the 21st century. The cyber problems that South Korea is facing against North Korea today is something that all countries should make reference to or consider when making decisions about cybersecurity. In fact, North Korean cyberterrorism is something that the United States should prevent and keep a radar on along with other countries who aim to do similar harm.

    The fact that North Koreans were able to simply send information agents overseas to pose as experts and work in companies that enabled them to learn more about software creation and computer science brings governments to question their current policies in deciding who is allowed into the country. In this case, designing such a policy would prevent future data espionage and block enemy countries access to new technological information. However, some damage has already been dealt and North Korea has already attacked South Korea’s digital infrastructure; hacking into major institutions (i.e. banks, energy and air traffic) in order to slow or shut down South Korean operations and cause havoc which can bring the people of South Korea into a domestic frenzy or in a position of imminent danger. In the video, a computer science professor stated that “Missiles are dangerous as weapons of mass destruction – but cyber terror can inflict just as much damage.” If that the case, a huge chunk of the U.S. federal budget in the military should be invested in ameliorating cybersecurity – creating programs that would deflect hack attacks and provide special training to “cyber soldiers” in order to detect a cyber attack and eliminate it as swift as possible.

    Through an international standpoint, the United States should also work in cooperation with South Korea in order to better cybersecurity and predict when future cyber attacks may occur. Working with South Korea, along with other allied countries, would expand our intellectual arsenal and create innovations that would surpass the technological knowledge that North Korea currently has accumulated. I’m sure it is in the U.S. government’s best interest to have the upper edge when fighting against acts of cyber terror, especially since we don’t want a cyber equivalent of 9/11 or worst. In addition, U.S. and South Korean cooperation would provide additional awareness to the rest of the world of how dangerously delicate cyberterrorism can be through the use of multiple media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Ally governments would interact with one another, engaging in both traditional and digital diplomacy, to discuss matters revolving around cyberterrorism. People from all over the world would express their opinions and suggestions on how to approach this problem and contribute to the amount of big data that the government can refer to when making important decisions in the construction of policies and development of strategies or creating inventions. With the presence of the internet, the world has become a lot more interconnected – allowing us to unite and sculpt ideas that would help us in creating solutions to many problems.

    Andrew Reiley said:
    February 15, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    After watching the video on the state of cyber warfare in South Korea, I agree that they have a serious problem with the North Koreans trying to hack their companies from right across the border. It is really unfortunate that North Korea is such a terrible place and that South Korea has to deal with it all the time. With that said, the Koreans definitely need to do something about their neighbors to the north. If those who participate in the eGames leagues were to spend the amount of time they do gaming in computer programming and cyber security, I am confident that they would not have as many problems as they have had. 13 years spent playing video games is an outrageous number and is in no way a healthy way to go through life.
    It is true that North Korea has demonstrated that they have nuclear capabilities. Some nations still do not believe it but it is definitely a fact that they have nuclear warheads and they do threaten to use them. However it is much more likely that they will initiate cyber attacks on their enemies, which mainly are the United States, Australia, and South Korea, than to launch a nuclear warhead. Like it was said in the video, if the correct companies or organizations are hacked, there would be immediate economic damage, social emergencies, and the possibility of nuclear meltdowns. This brings up the point of just how scary it is that virtually everything in every aspect of society is linked to the Internet. I do not believe that the North Koreans would have the ability to hack the US government, but they do have the ability to hack companies, which, if they hit the correct company, could have catastrophic results.
    If North Korea is able to hack more banks in South Korea, which hopefully doesn’t happen since the banks are installing increasingly better cyber security, they could have results far worse than the results from the first attack on a bank. As more and more people are switching to online banking, the results of such an attack could be irreversible. Luckily, there are many ex North Koreans who have migrated down to South Korea. These people know how the cyber warfare teams in North Korea operate, as many of them were the people running those organizations. As a result, they are able to now teach South Korean students what is necessary to be able to strike back at their former students. The horrors that they had seen in their previous life seem like something that would never get out of your system, however they can do good by striking back against the regime, even though doing so puts a bounty on their heads. I find it semi ironic that the guy that North Korea sent to assassinate the guy, who was the son of an ex North Korean spy, was intercepted by South Korean cyber troops. Because the guy had been a personal friend, they did not expect an attack from him. However, I would have thought a random call out of the blue after 6 years and then the request to meet in a subway station should have been the first red flag. As a cyber war specialist who already knew that the north was trying to kill him, he should have been much more aware. However, it all worked in the end, most likely due to those he had taught himself.
    I believe that the United States government already has many programs in place that deal specifically with cyber security, especially since the future of war lies within the realms of the Internet. It really is amazing how quickly threats have changed within the past 25 years. What once was fought in man-to-man combat can now be done simply through using the appropriate code and can have catastrophic results to corporations and the economy as a whole. I think that the fact that we have one of the most elite militaries in the world, with the addition of the most military spending, that the United States is in a good position to be able to fend off attacks from a nation such as North Korea. A cyber attack may not be as evident as a nuclear missile coming our way, but can have similar results. Not as many people would die as in a nuclear attack right away, but by attacking the right corporations or power plants, an attack on the US would certainly have long term consequences.
    In terms of South Korea, they are definitely in a good position to block future cyber attacks. It would be nice if they could free the people of North Korea, but that is a story for another time. However, the footage of hungry people in the streets being executed is uncomforting. If the South Koreans are able to launch an attack of their own against North Korea and is somehow able to cripple them, there could be peace in the area.

    Will Kauppila said:
    February 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Much of Modi’s talk reflected how he personally saw technology as an essential means of connecting to citizens throughout history, whether it be microphones, PA systems, televisions, or the digitally connected age we live in now. For him it has “redefined” politics, and added a whole new dimension for politicians, one that I think that Presidents in first world democracies have increasingly taken advantage of in the past few years. He makes a good point about the sheer size of India and how he has tapped into a revolutionary resource to be able to reach out to a country of that size. He sees his IT to IT program, and real-time updated channels of communication and interaction as a huge potential public good for his citizens, and I tend to agree with him here. It was particularly striking how he described the internet as a tool that must be harnessed and embraced by the political class in order to achieve power and success in today’s world. While he is a controversial figure, it is indisputable that his holographic image projections which he deployed were a truly innovative way to gain widespread support for his election, and reach out to his constituents and countrymen in ways not previously possible.
    I also thought it was fascinating how he talked about how within this new sphere in governance that has been created, accountability and transparency are key to good governance. This makes me wonder if if it is really good for public policy; what would be the implications of potential online voting and the problems that might occur which seem to counter Modi’s argument for increased transparency in some ways. However, he is certainly right about the positive benefits that simple technologies have brought to his country for solving disaster management, watershed management, and land management issues. It is interesting to consider also whether the UN Conference on internet transparency he mentioned will actually make a difference or not in global governance. Or will politicians (like Modi, Xi Jing Peng, Obama) who are adept at deploying these technologies just continue to enjoy and take of their advantages in it?

    I was personally shocked by the degree and severity of the the Korean video game obsession. It speaks to a societal shift in a sense, and I wonder what its implications are for the future. To me, it is scary that there are clinics in the Koreas for internet addiction, and things like transcranial systemic operations are necessary for brain chemistry of addicts brains that have been altered.
    The hacking of Pyong Yang really speaks to the disruptive power of cyber attacks, as 30 million people had no access to their bank accounts. One speaker in the video went so far as to even compare the damage and vulnerability risks of a cyber attack to that of a ballistic missile. It can cripple a whole nation, and the interconnectedness of the infrastructures and institutions of modern political systems that are increasingly online can be targeted with crippling/devastating implications instantaneously. I think that North Koreans rebelling against Kim’s censorship of outside information on the internet, (as well those who have spoken out against the Chinese Government’s) is a positive sign of the need for people to gain rights to access to the internet in authoritarian states. I also had no idea and found it interesting that North and South Korea have been in a cyber war since the 80’s. I was aware of the the “worm” in the 90’s and programs like stuxnet that have been deployed, but did not realize these states were conducting online warfare and disruption strategies that early.

    Trent Rosenberg said:
    February 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I decided to watch “The secrets of The Korean Cyber War” video. S. Korea possess one of the fastest and most available internets in the world. South Koreas cyber warriors are made up of mostly young adults and teens who play video games online..Some of the more advanced players battle as teams or head to head on one of the countries most popular TV shows.Top players earn 170,000 and can appear on commercials quite frequently. They are treated like athletes in America. While this may seem harmless and simply part of S.K.’s culture there is a dark side to all of this flashy technology. Most aren’t at this level. Many players struggle with addiction and spend days and sometimes weeks in “PC bangs” playing games. This “addiction” is now one of the top priorities in the country.Long term computer gaming sometimes requires magnetic treatment to stimulate the parts in the brain that aren’t being used while gaming. There is also the problem of sitting in a chair for too long. When you sit in a chair for too long it can lead to slip discs, blood clots and other organ damage. these can all lead to death in extreme cases. Maybe its just how I was raised but I don’t like to spend that much time in front of a screen. It really messes with me. I’d much rather be outside and moving. However, as I began to think about it, I realized that this was just as much an addiction for these people as some drugs are here in the United States. It would be easy to judge the mother who left her baby to die while playing computer games, but its not as though the same circumstances don’t arise here, where parents addicted to say, meth, don’t perform up to par when it comes to their child.
    Another issue is that doctors are beginning to see a trend in that people who play more violent video games for days at a time sometimes loose there sense of reality and actually commit murders in real life. This sounded like my mom back in the day when I would play a video game for a few hours. She would often tell me that I would loose my sense of reality and be sucked into the game. I cant imagine the effects of this after days of straight gaming. But it has to be intensified quite a bit. Also, as the video pointed out many of S.Korea’s workers become so addicted that they don’t go to work. This again could lead to serious consequences. Much like the side effects with drug addiction people could find themselves on the streets or in prisons, or worst case scenario, dead.
    Another issue that is now facing S. Korea is that North Korea is now able to hack the South fairly easily. Its not just the South either. As many of us remember, the movie “The Interview” was supposed to be released in theaters in the U.S. before N.K hacked Sony. This led to a lot of speculation that the movie would be pulled and never released. When it finally was, it had to go up on the internet rather than in a theater. If North Korea can hack a major corporation like Sony then there skills may be better then we at first anticipated. Despite the fact that we were able to identify that it was North Korea who responsible, that shouldn’t make us feel any safer.
    If the North continues to improve its cyber warfare it could potentially be dangerous for South Korea considering so much of its society is based on the internet and cyber in general. One of the more interesting things that I pulled from the video were the street maps that would literally let you take a picture and email it to people all around the world. Obviously I don’t know the sophistication of these devices and even if they would be worth hacking, but it would seem like being able to use these effectively would present a major advantage.
    As we have discussed in class the world is changing. Technology is becoming not just faster but also smarter. The South Koreans have adopted this and are truly one of the first countries to embrace it openly. However, since they are one of the countries in the lead that also means that they are the first ones to discover it’s weakness and clearly they are already starting too, with the video saying that somewhere around 2 million people are addicted to online games. Also if North Korea is able to exploit weaknesses in cyber security for there benefit that could have drastic consequences not just for the South but also for the U.S. and more generally the world. It will be important to monitor this in the coming years.

    Thomas Mathiasen said:
    February 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    It is inescapably clear that Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi is an example of the effective use of technology in an election and during his tenure as a governing official. His use of effective social media platforms during his campaign shows the ways in which he interacted with his audiences, in this case his constituents, and the ways in which we was able to convey his policy messages with the use of his IT departments and advisors.

    Without a doubt, in his speech at the Google Big Tent Active Summit, Prime Minister Modi praises the use of technology in politics and political elections. A couple key points emerged from his speech. The first that stood out was his belief that with technological developments, especially with social media platforms, citizens and a constituency base have a greater and more direct say over policies of their nation. While it is certainly true that technology allows for citizens and constituents to have greater involvement in the political process, I am skeptical of the Prime Minister’s use of the words “direct” and “impact.” Yes, using social media allows us to openly remark on our policy makers decisions and either criticize or support them. By engaging with our leaders on these platforms, we can more effectively show our leaders our thoughts, rather than having to wait until the next election to either keep them in office or vote them out. My concern, however, is that social media can be very polarizing and through my experiences with reading tweets and status updates here in the United States, it seems evident that people are either extremely supportive of a decision or completely against it. This may be different in India, but to me here in the United States, it doesn’t allow for an open conversation and dialogue to emerge over a particular issue. That is why, although effective in gaging public support, policy leaders will tend to focus on evidence, facts and compromise when making political decisions and not listen to the loudest voices on social media platforms.

    The Prime Minister also makes a point that was brought up by panelists on the digital diplomacy video that the use of technology is an effective tool that must be harnessed. Therefore, I think it is important to discern the difference between the use of technology as a tool versus the use of technology as the only tool. When leaders make a decision towards a particular policy issue, it can be tempting to just see what the most popular opinion is on the web, but in reality, many other factors must go into that policy decision. Using the United States again as an example, when lawmakers in Congress introduce a bill, there is a long process in which that bill undertakes before it becomes law. The legislator who introduces it meets with policy advisors and experts before writing the bill. Then the bill is introduced and committees listen to testimony by further experts. Lobbyists and special interest groups will add their opinions to a bill and hope to better the language for their point of view. Eventually, the bill is passed out of committee and debated on the floor and the process continues and goes on from there. The point I am trying to make is that technology, while an effective tool, should not be the only tool. Advice from experts in the field, consultation from interest groups and listening to constituents should be equally valuable tools for a policy maker as the use of technology.

    A final concern that I have over the use of technology in politics is my fear over the social media presence of a candidate versus their presence in real life. Similar to everyday individuals, it can be easy to create a false sense of self online that is different to your real sense of self in everyday life. That notion can also be applied to politicians. What I fear sometimes, is that constituents will focus more on the 140 characters a candidate might post or the clever and flashy photos they may share rather than focusing on the issues that a candidate is willing to fight for. Will voters make their decision on that or will they take the time to focus on the issues and make an informed decision as opposed to having the decision be made for them?

    Although I have been critical of politicians’ use of social media, I do see why it is becoming more used. We live a globally connected world with technology and social media at the forefront of this newly globalized IT world. Just as our world evolves, so must our political leaders. It is refreshing to see a leader like the Indian Prime Minister, tap into that evolving world of IT and big data, but it is important to have a fair and moderate balance between the two. I would urge constituents to not be dazzled by the use of holograms, but focus more on what your leaders our saying. Technology provides a useful and very effective tool, but it should not be the only tool used by our leaders.

    Sam McGowan said:
    February 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    After watching the short documentary on Korea, its clear how different North and South Koreas’ societies are. In South Korea, cyber space and the spread of information technologies have allowed an economy to grow tremendously, whereas in North Korea, the internet is highly regulated and usually only allowed for governmental purposes. Despite the immense benefits South Korea has received from cyber space, especially in terms of economic growth and the easy spread of information, many South Koreans are becoming addicted to online gaming and this has already had the effect of producing huge negative consequences for all of society. On top of this, South Korea has become the victim in numerous attacks that have been directed towards its cyber systems, both within the government and private corporations. These cyber attacks are equally as dangerous as attacks using more conventional types of warfare and they will continue to have big implications for the future.

    Although the South Korean economy has progressed much faster than the economy of North Korea, in large part due to how cyber space is regulated and controlled, as the video suggests, many South Koreans are becoming addicted to video games. With the fastest internet in the world at their disposal, many South Koreans are turning to online video games and are playing these games in “internet gaming parlors” called “PC Bangs.” Professional E-Sport leagues are making up a substantial part of the economy, and some of these pros are even making salaries up to $200,000 dollars. With the chance to become pro, however, many amateur South Korean gamers are logging in unhealthy amounts of hours each day in order to be the best and live ultra-glamorous lifestyles. With this, many are becoming addicted and suffering detrimental health consequences that cause them to have severely distorted visions of “fantasy and reality.” Mental health problems due to excessive gaming have caused at least a dozen related violent crimes. In one case, a mother gave birth to a baby in one of these PC Bangs and continued to play after dumping her newborn into a dumpster outside the gaming lounge. Despite the economic benefits of South Korea’s online culture, its apparent that there are huge health risks that affect all of society.

    In consideration to ongoing power struggles between North and South Korea, North Korea has stepped up its efforts when it comes to cyber warfare because it realizes how effective these forms of attacks are. Attacks are being directed at national infrastructures such as airports and government agencies, but it seems that North Korea finds the attacks directed towards private corporations such as large banks to be more efficient. As one South Korean governmental worker suggested, when big banks collapse in the wake of cyber attacks, every one who has financial holdings in that institution are subjected to enormous difficulties because they aren’t able to access their money. Furthermore, when such hacks and viruses manage to get through, these institutions that have been affected are faced with huge economic costs because they now must develop highly sophisticated software in order to upgrade security. In one recent attack on a South Korean bank, the bank had to pay as much as $400 million dollars so that its security system could be upgraded.

    On a larger scale, the current power struggle between the North and the South have huge geopolitical implications, and the fight for power and control is one that is largely being contested in the realms of cyber. South Korea sees itself as a free society, unconstrained by harsh dictatorial rule, and many South Koreans are taking up efforts to show ordinary North Koreans how bad their dictator is. For example, some South Koreans have attached propaganda messages that seek to expose more anti-regime attitudes in the minds of people living in the North. This example shows how ordinary citizens are taking efforts into their own hands to influence people living in the North about how bad their situation really is and how constrained they are by their government. Its no surprise that South Koreans are doing this, especially because of how brutal North Korea’s dictator is. He has starved many of his people, and even killed the ones who steal food in order to survive. To counter this, as I mentioned above, North Korea is upping the ante when it comes to cyber warfare. As many as 3,000 “cyber troops” are being trained in North Korea, where they are learning how to most effectively damage South Korean institutions and their cyber systems. Effectively, when these attacks do what they are supposed to do, they produce mayhem for South Korean society and also negative implications for the economy.

    Although it seems like the ongoing cyber warfare between the two Korean countries is a new development, it has been going on since the 1980s. Even back then, many North and South Koreans realized the potential this new convention of warfare would have for the future. Arguably, as many advanced and prosperous countries like South Korea have seen in recent years, cyber warfare is equally as detrimental as the more traditional means of conventional warfare. Imagine if a nuclear power plant’s system is hacked and as a result the power plant explodes. Another example as one person who was interviewed suggested, is if an airport’s system is hacked. A very likely result is that planes will crash into each because they don’t have the necessary communication that should be coming from the airport’s command tower. In a final analysis, its clear that even despite the huge gains an economy like South Korea has gained because of technological innovations and the spread of cyber space, there are substantial negative effects that include health risks and security implications.

    Dylan Kirby said:
    February 17, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    For this assignment I choose to watch the startling documentary on the increasingly tense cyber war between South and North Korea. This documentary not only gives a candid look at South Korea’s cyber addiction, but more importantly exposes the secret war between the two Koreas; which the North appears to be winning. In relation to our discussion over the past semester about Big Data and the cyber world creating a new political sphere I believe that the current issues regarding the cyber attacks on banks and other institutions as seen in the short documentary foresees an inevitable future as using the cyber world as a means for terrorism.
    Before watching this documentary I thought I had a pretty sound understanding of South Korea’s cyber culture. However, within the first five minutes of the film I soon realized I knew nothing. South Koreans are obsessed with online gaming and in fact over ninety percent of the countries residents (45 million) have access to broadband connection. This ease of access to the Internet further allows for the countries citizens addiction to grow and celebrities to be made in the gaming and cyber world.
    Although a select few gamers are able to handsomely support for their families from behind the screen of a video game the grim reality for the majority of players are not so lined in affluence. Within South Korea lies an abundance of Internet cafes where citizens are able to get connected to online games. These cafes so to speak are set up more like casinos where patrons lose track of time and stay connected for an average 10 hours a session. Aside from suffering from severe vitamin D deficiency gamers also experience blood clots and obesity from lack of moving throughout the gaming session. Last year, a pregnant women’s addiction was so severe to gaming that while playing she quickly got up, gave birth in a plastic bag, disposed of the bag in the internet cafes trash and immediately sat back down in front of her screen and resumed play. This is just one of the many stories of Internet gaming addictions causing citizens to blur the line between reality and fantasy and neglect their real life responsibilities.
    The second half of the video spoke about an issue I thought was very fascinating revolving around North Korea. Unknown to many, North Korea is a very sophisticated country in terms of its ability hack and train hackers. North Korea filters its countries own intelligently superior citizens into schools to train as sophisticated hackers at an early age. Not only are they incubating and training its own to hack into different industries they are also turning them into “spy’s” to go abroad and act as employees at multinational corporations to further understand the inner workings of the system and infiltrate the system.
    This documentary helped shed light onto the new era of cyber attacks. Last year a major bank in South Korea was attacked by what it believes was North Korea. Furthermore, not only did the South Korean bank have to invest $400 million dollars in new infrastructure to better safeguard against cyber attack, this event also gave rise to the possibility of other sectors being pray to cyber attacks. Nuclear power stations, electricity grids, and air traffic control stations are all examples of places where if not protected properly hackers could gain access and reap absolute havoc on the worldwide scale.
    Above all, this documentary gives the audience the notion that our civilization is entering a new era of cyber warfare. Not only are hackers getting more advanced with their ability to infiltrate multinational companies, but more importantly thanks to big data our civilization is even more connected. Online banking, online bill pay, online movies are all examples of sites that rely on personal banking information and are looked at as goldmines for hackers. As citizens of the digital era, we need to make sure that our increasingly interconnected cyber world is secure and the new cyber sphere that is literally evolving in front of our eyes does not become just some free for all for hackers.

    Tim Lasusa said:
    February 17, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    The documentary on Korea and the ongoing cyber war highlights the dangers that come with such a massively technologically adept society. The cyber war that South Korea faces is not only a battle against neighboring North Korea’s ever expanding cyber warfare division, but is also a struggle within the nation. South Korea as a country should be proud of all the technological innovations that they have made and continue to develop and progress in the works they are creating. However, I do believe that the country does need to continue to upgrade its security as best as they can, and should feel threatened by North Korea. From the film it is pretty obvious that North Korea can be a threat to the lives of everyday South Koreans, from the attacks on government and private banks. As South Korea continues to develop new technologies, their lives could be put in more danger if more precautions are not taken.

    It is pretty frightening to think that North Korea has successfully been able to hack into various computer networks around the globe, such as South Korean banks and possibly Sony in 2015 even though they deny doing so. They way they have been able to do so is also scary. The fact they they have been able to send spies into South Korean and American corporations and disguise them as employees, where they are then able to learn and create ways to take down sophisticated systems, is pretty astounding. I am not sure whether to be more impressed with North Korea’s ability to execute such espionage or disheartened and worried that they were able to do so without any government security agency noticing. Obviously the United States and South Korea need to be more careful, and must increase security measures to try and prevent something like this from ever happening again. But as North Korea continues to expand their cyber division, the question I have becomes, will they be able to continue their growth? If security is tightened by target countries, and if North Korea can no longer hack its way into other countries systems or physically send spies to retrieve information, then it seems they will be stuck and they will no longer be able to keep up with the ever growing and expanding technology that is being created in other countries. This is a sort of wishful thinking, in some ways it does ask the question of how could one put a stop to North Korea’s cyber expansion. As South Korea and the United States continue to expand in our technological use, it is now clear that we as target countries must do all we can to try and prevent any possible attacks from hackers and continue to upgrade security against such bad intentions.

    As we spoke about in previous classes, the IOT shows how devices, applications, tool, and hardware can all be intertwined and controlled by each other, and therefore citizens become more susceptible to attacks from hackers. For South Korea. When watching the documentary, it became clear to me that South Koreans are obsessed with the internet and technology. It is a huge part of daily life and interactions, even more so than in my life here in the U.S. and greater than any country in the world. This obsession has a dark side, as it creates a vulnerability that could be taken advantage of by any hacker with bad intentions. As the video detailed, an attack on a large entity like the private bank which had information hacked, can easily happen if security does not play a role as an active interest.

    When watching the video, South Korean citizens obsession is not only present but multifaceted. South Koreans are in love with gaming, cell phone applications, computer programing and anything that has to do with the internet and technology. If a successful attack were to happen again, it could be catastrophic for the country. Due to the all-encompassing nature that technology and its uses has on its society, South Korea could be susceptible to attacks which could come in almost any form and attack anything.

    In addition to the possible attack from an outside hacker, one of the fastest growing issues with the country’s obsession of technology is how the citizens themselves are using the internet and technology they themselves are creating. The internet in South Korea seems almost more accessible than food or water, and citizens are seeming to forget their own lives outside of the virtual world. At internet and gaming cafes, citizens can be found spending days at these parlors, sometimes missing work or even forgetting about their families. Many Citizens have been sent to hospitals, and in one incident a baby died after being neglected by its parents who were obsessively gaming. Many are also worried about how the youth of the society will develop after being exposed to hours and hours of over violent and graphic games and videos, and what type of effect this will have on their brain.

    Jake Levin said:
    February 17, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    From the beginning of “The Security of The Korean Cyber War”, modern society’s growing obsession with technology was made apparent to me. I was initially skeptical about the narrator’s claim that cyber culture had become South Korea’s “new battlefield with North Korea.” However after learning about South Korea’s national obsession with the seemingly infinite functions of computers and acts of cyber warfare perpetrated against them by North Korea, I fully agreed with this statement. Not only does South Korea need to update their cyber warfare capabilities in order to prepare for future attacks, they need to address a widespread internal issue that could limit the development of their country – internet and gaming addiction.

    In the documentary we are first introduced to the spectacle of professional gaming. The top players in E-sports are revered by millions of Koreans, allowing them to make a sizable income through sponsorships and victories in tournaments attended by thousands. When comparing the culture surrounding this rising aspect of Korean society to the top professional sports leagues of the United States, there are many similarities. Just like the elite athletes we watch on ESPN every night, top professional gamers have large enough followings that put them on par with national celebrities. They can make millions through sponsorships and tournament victories, and are always receiving excessive media coverage. Even, a website I read occasionally, has added an E-Sports category.

    Something hidden behind this supposedly glamorous lifestyle is the insane dedication required from an individual to succeed on the professional gaming stage. There are so many people who compete in these popular online video games that in order to separate yourself from the average good player gaming has to become your sole priority in life, in which 8-12 hours are spent playing daily. This can, and has had numerous implications on some Koreans. There are an estimated 2,000,000 gamers in South Korea, with about a quarter being teenagers. Just by observing one of the many internet gaming parlors that so many people frequent, the addiction and desperation that can result from excessive internet use is made evident. People literally abandon their day job to play video games for days on end. This is an unhealthy addiction that can affect brain functions, result in slipped discs and blood clots, and even lead to death. It almost seemed like the people being interviewed in this documentary were referring to a hard drug when discussing the negative impact the internet had had on them and others. I feel this could create issues for South Korea’s ability to keep up with North Korea’s thousands of trained hackers. It will be difficult for them to increase the amount of cyber defense specialists through training programs that specialize in hacking if so many people are pre-occupied with playing video games rather than the security threat presented by North Korea. I definitely see this infatuation with gaming transforming into something that could negatively affect South Korea as a whole.

    Before watching this video, I perceived North Korea as a technologically inept country characterized by outdated infrastructure, poverty, and a totalitarian regime. Not one with 3,000 highly trained hackers. Hearing about how the North Korean government has developed a “surprisingly sophisticated” ability to infiltrate South Korean computer networks, along with how their capabilities allowed them infiltrate South Korea’s major banks and broadcasting stations forced me to examine the concept of hacking in a more serious light. I always viewed hacking as something done for money, for the challenge, or just enjoyment, not with the intention of causing damage or disruption. As mentioned previously, with so many South Koreans using and relying on the internet, a North Korean cyber attack could jeopardize the livelihoods and assets of millions. Furthermore, the fact that trained North Korean information agents were sent to the United States and South Korea and successfully “infiltrated computer related companies as employees” astonished me. Clearly South Korea needs to commit to a revolution of military affairs to better prepare itself for potential attacks. As discussed in the documentary, a cyber attack could affect South Korea’s energy, water supply, nuclear power plants, and air traffic control. In the event of a full on attack by North Korea, an inability by South Korea to prevent their important computer systems from being hacked in to could be disastrous. A stable South Korea is needed to keep the aggressive tendencies of their northern neighbors in check, and although through conventional warfare the south has an advantage, if they can’t keep control over the data systems they utilize to conduct such warfare they are at a serious disadvantage.

    To resolve this impending situation, I would encourage South Korea to seek assistance from other countries in monitoring North Korean cyber activity and to continue to strengthen its cyber warfare command forces. Hopefully future North Korean defectors are able to provide South Korea with some insight concerning the cyber warfare methods and tactics of the North Korean regime.

    Patrick Sullivan said:
    February 17, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first mention of technology came with the impact he believed it would have on politics. For such a high-industrialized country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at the forefront of technology led changes within his country and in the broader scope, around the world. He states that technology, more specifically, has begun to flow more freely within the country. The Indian people have become better at not only creating new technology, but also rather using this new technology to understand and interpret new information. To the informed citizen, no power is greater than that of information. Indians have the power and free will to process this technology and form their own opinions with it and furthermore, express them in a more efficient way. Social media has allowed for these types of outlets in democratic countries around the word, changing the landscape for politicians everywhere. As the “citizen” is more empowered, politicians must be wary that all typed words now carry more weight than ever before. The Prime Minister even states, “The citizens now have a direct say in politics…”.
    Interestingly enough, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignites a call for action to all politicians. He mentions that politicians need not to worry about the changes that technology advancements bring to their countries, but rather they must understand it. Politicians mustn’t run away from technology or neglect it, but embrace it. Technology is not “a problem creator” as the Prime Minister states. It is a net neutral tool that can be used for the benefit of the politician or to the benefit of their opponent.
    It is breathe of fresh air to actually witness a politician live by the words that he or she preachers. A rare quality to find in many in government positions these days, yet here we have Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading by example. His use of hologram technology around his country not only is progressive, but also encourages these advancements in break through findings in all fields. By using the holograms he is able to better connect with his people opening new and stronger lines of communication that are integral in any democracy.
    Another fascinating distinction that the Prime Minister makes is that he states, technology has molded politics with governance. Politics is the theory and practice of government, especially the activities associated with governing, with obtaining legislative or executive power, or with forming and running organizations connected with government, while governance is the system or manner of government. I am unclear on if he means that the manner and way in which those in power control their country is completely changing or just merely adapting. I don’t believe methods of governing need to necessarily change, perhaps just adapt to new and different standards. Another example change brought on by technology is Skype conferences. Prime Minister Narendra Modi uniquely states that he now can address the grievances of the common man in real time. Never in history has this been able to been done before. Based off said grievances modified policies can then be enacted and set into place. The efficiencies of a system where technology is at the forefront, results in very little wasted time, money, or effort on the government’s part. In the greater scope, nations will be able to collaborate more effectively with on another. The United Nations for example will be able to collaborate with nations to fight crisis as the arise. Instead of a reactionary force, the United Nations will instead be a proactive organization, cutting problems out at the roots before the infest communities, countries, or nations. Calls for help should never again fall upon no ears or deaf ears.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to touch on the subject of the Internet about halfway through his speech. He states just how it has changed citizen decision making permanently. I find this to be very true. People are constantly influenced by the Internet through sharing and the spreading of ideals or beliefs. This platform has increased the call for creativity in order to stand out. From that standpoint of social development, the Internet has undeniably changed the landscaped forever.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a powerful speech here touching upon many up and coming topics that are present in not only his nation, but many surrounding nations as well. I see many topics that are extremely similar in the US being addressed less clearly by United States politicians, so it was an extremely pleasure for the Prime Minister to speak so clearly on a topic that he knows extensively. He also did a good job calling for change within the political ranks, not allowing his nation to fall behind in technological advancements.

    Moustafa Bayoumy said:
    February 17, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    We have discussed how cyber politics is a powerful tool that is both very efficient and dangerous. After watching the documentary on Korea, I have come to realize the reality of this danger. It is shocking how North Korea achieved a dictatorship by using technology to hack things such as government documents. Although I think it is a great idea that South Korea (University) is training students to detect and combat hacks, I am doubtful that this will be enough to defend the nation. There needs to be more awareness of this issues so that more people can aid in solving it. Park Sang-Hak tries to do just that. Unfortunately, this is putting his life at risk.

    Colin Scott said:
    February 18, 2016 at 12:10 am

    After watching the short documentary on the secrets of the Korean War, my first thoughts were how shocking this is. No one 15 years ago would believe you if you told them a war could be fought with no ground soldiers and contemporary weapons. Cyber warfare is a new phenomenon but it is a scary one. The fact that someone can be in a different country and hack into the systems of huge banks, water supplies, and nuclear centers is unsettling.
    A society that so heavily relies on technology, which is becoming the absolute norm in large societies including the U.S., is very dangerous. Relying so much on cyber space where it is not a solid concrete thing to protect is very difficult. Computer Science has become such a large study especially in South Korea that a new form of warfare has been created. Hacking no longer is just the simple fact of people getting computers hacked and information stolen, it now can mean a whole banking system is shut down or a nuclear facility can lose its database and explode. Cyber Space has huge implications of everyday life.
    It is very important and good that schooling on cyber-attacks is happening in South Korea. Gaining the knowledge to be able to sniff out cyber-attacks is crucial. Knowing how to stop an attack will become the equivalent of sending troops on the ground to foil an attack or learning of a nuclear attack and stopping it. It is that important. It would be comforting to know that the U.S. government is placing high priority of having a cyber army to be able to help with potential future attacks that could take place. The U.S. takes pride on not allowing terrorists to attack the homeland so steps should be taken that no cyber- attacks can happen on home soil either. It could cripple society and ruin many lives in a country that has become so heavily dependent on technology.
    Cyber security is something that needs to continue growing so cyber- attacks cannot be done so easily. It’s easier said than done because technology is ever expanding, but things need to be done to insure that hacking cannot be done easily and cannot be super destructive if done. Companies and the government need to make it harder to access millions of accounts if hacked so one hack will not cause a tremendous amount of damage tht could be equated to a nuclear attack.
    It was also eye opening to see how addicted people have become to online gaming. It has beomce a life style for many people in South Korea and it is upsetting to see it ruin people’s lives. Reality and fantasy have become very blurred for their citizens and deaths are ocuring because of it. This can be seen as another war the South Koreans are facing right now. An overload of the use of technology has become a major issue, with babies dying, and murders taking place because of the gaming. A tool that has been seen as so useful can also be so devastating. Doctors are treating children who aren’t even in their teens yet for the video game addiction which is horrible. One can become brainwashed especially the way they play over there. Playing a game for multiple days straight in a row is very unhealthy. As the doctor stated, vertebrae can be badly damaged and some of the damage from sitting in front of a screen for that long can become deadly. Not only can it be physically damaging but the mental damage can be even worse. Neglecting real children but taking care of virtual children is crazy. I honestly don’t know how South Korea can try and put an end to this issue but one way could be to limit the time people can spend playing a game. They should not make it legal for someone to play for multiple days straight. This could lead to an issue though because it goes against the freedoms of the country given to the people. Citizens may feel as though their rights are being infringed upon. Whatever the cure may be, there needs to be one because the addiction problem with the video games is almost as bad as having people addicted to horrible drugs. They do not act the same as they would if they weren’t addicted.
    The cyber warfare that Korea is experiencing is quite unusual in terms of history. Never before have we seen anything like this and it is happening so quickly that it is tough to keep up with. The classes being taught in South Korea are crucial to create cyber soldiers. South Korea may not be a nuclear threat like North Korea, but they are learning they have the capabilities to create just as much damage using cyber space.

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