Blog Post response

Modi Talk

Korea documentary

Theme and Task

You are to make a short analysis based on either the talk made by Prime Minister 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: 02/08 – 02/14 (Midnight): This Page will be taken offline by 02/14 Midnight, make sure you have your responses in by then


20 thoughts on “Blog Post response

    Alita said:
    February 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Cyber Politics Blog Post #1
    Alita Rogers

    The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War documentary was interesting and worrisome. It brought to light many issues that have come with the 21st century and the Internet revolution. While technology is generally seen as a good thing, a means to better interact and communicate with other countries, this documentary illuminated the dark side of the cyber world.

    This documentary opened with an interesting comparison between the US sports fascination and the Korean ESports phenomenon. On a typical Friday night people can be found watching cyber wars on popular television channels where the top gamers can make up to 170,000$ a year and are seen as national celebrities. The documentary then pans to the less glamorous life of gamers who have not made it big. The host interviews a man who is going on his third straight day playing a video game. He admits he is addicted to the computer game and should be at work instead of playing his cyber war game. We learn that this is a major problem in their country and that over ¼ of all teen play too many video games and spend too much time in front of screens.

    We then get a look into the dark side of this addiction and the consequences video game addicts may end up facing. The Save Brain Clinic treats internet addicts by stimulating parts of the brain that have been idle for long periods of time when the individual spends too much time playing cyber games. The doctor interviewed at the clinic spoke about the real damage playing these game shave on not only your brain but also other organs in your body as well. In severe cases the documentary noted death as a side effect to playing these online cyber war games too much. There was also the concern about the connection between these violent video games, which are fantasy, and the real world. The doctor noted concerns bout this line between real and fantasy being blurred after excessive game play. More than a dozen real life murders have been blamed on the addictions people have with these cyber war games. Another startling story that was talked about had to do with the neglect and death of a three-month-old baby. The parents of this child were too busy at a video gaming parlor to feed or take care of their new child. They were feeding their addiction to the game and not their own child. The baby died and the mother was only saved from prosecution because she was pregnant again. The fate of this unborn child I am not envious of. This fantasy reality confusion is affecting people’s ability to judge situations and make rational decisions.

    Moving on to some statistics about South Korea, over 90% o the population has a broad bad connection allowing them to play these video games at will. The country also prides itself on mobile Internet pods located on the street where you can email people anywhere in the world, except North Korea that is. The conflict in the cyber world between North and South Korea is growing every day. North Korea is known to have developed a cyber terror software that has the capabilities to hack in multiple facets of the South Korea infrastructure. Banks in particular were notes as a direct line of harm that could cause more damage if hacked than hacking into government agencies online files. The People’s Liberation Front in North Korea sends agents to infiltrate networks with viruses and shut them down causing devastating and paralyzing damage. North Korea has also staged attacks in the cyber world against newspapers and airports so far. These Internet soldiers are referred to as “cyber troops” and they are recruited and attend special schools to hone their craft. One such place where this education is taught is in the War Room at the University of Korea. Soon to be cyber troops are being trained and prepared to be dropped into the cyber trenches combatting and attacking cyber competitors in this online cyber war

    These high tech cyber wars, however, are not the only way people are getting their messages back and forth from North to South Korea. Anti-tech advocated fill bags with leaflets preaching anti-war solutions and send them into the neighboring territory’s using helium balloons.

    Overall this documentary showed me, as well as other readings and lectures that we have done this semester, that the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. Overall the Internet, in my opinion, makes things easier. This can be a great thing in relation to international communication; however, it makes doing bad easier too. From the basics to cyber bullying to the extremes of cyber wars the Internet is fueling our economy but also fueling the cyber addicts and all the negatives that can come with that.

    Cam Hickey said:
    February 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Korea Video
    Cam Hickey

    The video dove deep into the world of the online gamer, and how these cyber warriors are spending their time battling against each other to reach the pinnacle of Korea’s online gamer world. Gamming has become an incredible industry where their best gamers are compared to America’s top athletes like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. These kids who may be considered “nerds”, are heroes in Korea as they have been able to become national icons to a society that prides itself on its unparallel Internet connection and broadband strength. Although with these high rungs of society, there is also a “pit of desperation” as millions of online gamers will never reach this height and have become addicted to the games in which they are playing. It’s honestly quite depressing to see these kids at ages where they should be living life, spending all of their time in a virtual world unable to disconnect. It has become such a problem in Korea that doctors have now developed treatments for online addiction, to help these kids stimulate other parts of their minds that have become weak due to the excess of online gaming. In extreme examples mothers have neglected their babies to live a virtual life where they instead nurture a baby online, while their real child dies. It is a problem which I have seen first hand spending four years in a boarding schools with many Korean and Chinese students. All the kids I meant were great people, although living in the dorms with them I could see just how much time they would spend in front of the screens not fully partaking in the experiences of high school. This might have been what they wished, which is fine by me, although at times you could see that their constant online play could result in addiction.

    Online gaming is not the only problem that is facing Korea in regards to the cyber world. They neighbor to the north, whom many regard as their fellow “brothers”, are increasing their online learning and have begun to formulate attacks on the South through the use of internet. Pyongyang has realized that although missiles and WMDs may cause vast destruction, the use of online terror can also accomplish these goals. They have begun to incorporate cyber warfare into their teaching so hackers can infiltrate South Korean networks and cause incredible amounts of damage. These new breeds of cyber soldiers have found targets not part of the military, but instead the backbone of society like banks, newspaper companies, and airports. We even saw this in America, although it has not been completely proven, but the hacking of Sony was believed to be from North Korea due to the release of The Interview. They’ve realized to get the greatest response, they do not have to threaten a country with nuclear weapons, but rather can access a countries’ networks and hack into important information. Attacking media companies or search engines create the greatest amount of destruction especially in a world or country like Korea where a portion of the population has made the virtual world their reality.

    Although the South has not backed down without a fight, and neither have other nations that realize that the greatest threat to national security is not in another countries military strength but in their use of cyber warfare. Once an enemy has accessed your networks and has retrieved protected data they have more leverage and can cause more damage than any threat or attempt of invasion. South Korea has answered this problem by teaching their own version of cyber warriors to detect possible threats and respond to these attacks. As the North continues to attack some of the most visited sites, the South most respond with their own form of cyber warfare. One fear that this presents is if the North were ever able to access more than just bank networks, but actual military information that could lead to a break down of the South’s defenses. I feel like in the future we will see actual armies crossing borders, but before this happens there will be months of cyber warfare and hacking just to get to a point were an actual physical war can begin. The breaking down of a countries defenses and the manipulation of their markets to destroy the economy may become commonplace before an actual invasion. Just like in mid evil times when armies would starve a city for months before a siege, we may see the same idea with the use of Internet. Break down their networks, and send them back to the Stone Age before an actual invasion or attack can take place. The Korean video was incredibly informing, although at the same time it was quite disturbing. Yes, a lot of their problems with online gaming are troublesome, but the threat from the North seems like a serious matter that must be addressed. The cyber world is our frontier and as we continue to learn how to reach and bypass limits that we never thought possible the threats that come along with this increased traffic needs to be put at the forefront of any countries defense plans.

    Rob said:
    February 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Rob Scoon
    Cyber Politics Blog Post: The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War

    This documentary shows a side of the South Korean Internet that is responsible for pumping millions of dollars into their economy but is also responsible for deaths and cyber war. The technology-filled streets of South Korea are innovative and have led to many people calling South Korea the most connected country in the world. With Internet accessible in 90% of homes it is no wonder why people struggle with Internet addiction and worry about the potential cyber hacks that can shut the country down. South Korea has so much reliance on the Internet and if it was to get hacked limitless amounts of information could land in the hand of their enemies.

    At the beginning of the documentary we are introduced to a gaming league that brings millions of dollars to the economy and provides entertainment comparable to the NFL in America. The top players in Korea are celebrities and make six-figure paychecks just for playing video games. Being a professional in anything requires lots of time and hard work but some Korean citizens are taking online gaming to the extreme. Addiction to the games has led to deaths, firings, and brain loss. This has become a serious problem in Korea and has negatively affected the teens of the country. In fact, the addiction to online gaming has become so serious that clinics like The Save the Brain clinic have opened in Korea to treat and prevent online gaming addictions. People have become so addicted to their games, often playing them for days on end, their perception of what is reality and what is virtual has become skewed. Stories such as the mother forgetting to feed her newborn child for days while taking care of a baby she had in a video game are becoming to common in Korea and are a direct result to the dependence of the Internet. People who are addicted to gaming often sit in front of a screen for hours. This kills parts of the brain that are essential to basic human instinct. The documentary credits over a dozen deaths as a result of online gaming addiction and this number will only go up with the growing number of people playing games online and a skewed view of reality.

    As many of us know, the tensions between North and South Korea are extremely high and there are decades of hatred between the neighbors. Defectors of North Korea were interviewed in the documentary and what stood out to me was that North Korea realized the potential of cyber war in the 1980’s. North Korea was way ahead of its time but knew that cyber war would become and thing. North Korea has hacked banks, government agencies, and some of the most visited websites in South Korea. These hacks shut down the country that was so reliant on the Internet for weeks. South Korea is training troops to fight the virtual war against the cyber hackers and protect the South Korean people from another cyber attack.

    Cyber warfare is still relatively new and unknown. I think this makes it under appreciated by many people but there is a threat of cyber warfare that can devastate a connected country like South Korea. I would bet that in the future there will be more cyber attacks and more attempts to break the South Korean government. Some of the harm that could be caused by cyber hacks could be things such as hacking into the air traffic control and causing planes to crash or hacking into power plants and causing explosions. These virtual attacks will cause real world deaths. Therefore, it is very important that people are being trained to detect the harmful hackers and programs before they cause damage. We have seen twitter accounts hacked and the cloud hacked but nothing that has actually caused deaths. This is something that could become a harsh reality of having such a connected world. There are efforts that are taking place offline to help the situation in North Korea. For example, South Korean people are sending messages in helium filled balloons across the boarder into North Korea to try to warn the 20 million people living under the regime to get out.

    The cyber world is still young and we are still learning about the threats that it poses to our society. Whether it is people losing their sense of reality and living online or attacks happening between countries online, we must recognize these problems and do something to prevent them. The US is also training cyber warriors to try to prevent hacks from occurring and government information landing in the hands of the wrong people. With out a doubt, cyber warfare needs to be taken seriously because it could cause great harm in the real world.

    Jonathan Wagner said:
    February 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Jonathan Wagner
    Cyber Politics Blog Post: The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War

    Currently enrolled in two classes this semester that discuss how much our society has adapted to the Internet, I was shocked to hear that South Korean has surpassed us tremendously. The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War documentary was very shocking because it illustrated how much their society depends on the Internet. South Korea currently has Internet access in 90 percent of the homes and throughout the documentary it clarifies many issues of how dependent the country is on the Internet revolution.

    The documentary first opens up going into depth about the cyber warrior of the gaming industry. Online gaming is their main entertainment that brings in millions of dollars to their economy. The opening part of this Documentary really caught my attention because I thought I was a so called ‘gamer’. However, these young South Korean kids put me to shame. This industry has exploded in South Korean and their best gamers are compared to America’s greatest athletes. One gaming announcer compared their best gamer to Basketball legend Michael Jordan, and one the best golfers, although not right now, Tiger Woods. Here in America these kids would be considered nerds. However, since South Korea is so developed into the Internet Revolution, these kids are considered as heroes and pioneers. With these tops gamers getting unlimited amount of fame, many young South Korean kids try to succeed as high as them but never reach and instead become intensely addicted.

    This is where the documentary showed a different side of the online gaming world. Instead of participating in outdoor activities or exercise, these kids spend all of their time online. This is where the documentary got a little depressing because reality was turning into the online gaming world. Almost like in the movie Inception, the dream was becoming a reality and reality was becoming the dream. The documentary told horrible stories of a mother forgetting to feed her newborn baby because she spent three nonstop days playing a video game. And within the video game she was feeding a newborn baby. This was the case for many people where they would be hooked on a game nonstop for countless of days. It became such a problem in South Korea that hospitals were opened to help people who were addicted to online gaming. In the documentary, doctors described how sitting in front of a screen for days kills parts of the brain. Not only does it kill parts of the brain but also it makes people think that it is real. One doctor said that if someone plays a killing game for countless of days on end, then they might believe that it is acceptable in real life.

    Not only is the online gaming phenomenon a problem in South Korea but also the tensions between their neighbors. The documentary then took a turn towards something different then online gaming. It still focused on the Internet Revolution but described how North Korea was having a Cyber War against South Korea. Many traitors or converts of North Korea were interviewed in the documentary and talked about the horrible regime. The most influential fact that stood out to me, like rob, was the fact that North Korea realized they couldn’t have a cyber war against South Korea in the 1980’s. This means that North Korea was a head of everyone in the Internet Revolution. Instead of sending missiles, North Korea realized that they could cause damage to South Korea through the Internet. North Korea trained cyber warriors to take down banks, infiltrate the government, and shut down the Internet for weeks. After hearing this in the documentary I found myself thinking of the recent movie that just came out, the interview. The Interview was not released in theaters but was eventually released on YouTube. However, it was not proven that North Korea hacked Sony but if they are hacking South Korea, it made me stop and think about it. In defense, South Korea started to train their own cyber warriors to prevent North Korea of hacking their government and posing cyber threats.

    As the Internet Revolution continues to grow around the world and societies begin to incorporate the Internet into their lives, I believe there will be more cyber attacks. As we talked about in our Forum number two, big data is going to continue to grow and we must accept this. I believe limitations must be put in place to help prevent these cyber attacks that have already started to happen in South Korea. This documentary was very eye opening in many different ways. Although I though the beginning part of the documentary was almost idiotic, it did show me how much a country is dependent on the Internet. The second part of the documentary was almost scary. As we continue to put all of our information out on the Internet, more and more people will have access. These cyber attacks in South Korea are scary because they could happen to us in the future.

    Reed Mcleod said:
    February 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Shri Narendra Modi brought numerous points at the Google ten active summit. After viewing the video it is fairly obvious that Narendra has a strong belief of the amazing powers and future of the Internet. As a politician himself, he understands that the internet is able to connect him to a wide range of citizens throughout Indian, something that has never been achieved before. By commuting to the civilians he is able to hear their own opinions whiling trying his best to incorporate them into his decision making. I am pretty sure he described this process as “Direct Democracy”. He also explained the dark areas that can and have been used in political campaigns. Instead of acting as a catalyst for democracy, politicians can quite the voices of the public by blasting out their own one headed campaign.

    One minor detail that I picked up on during this interview was the hp laptop located directly in front of him. From what I could tell, he was not reading from the prompt on this device. Instead, I could see the placement of the laptop as a strategically tactic in order to show that technology is everywhere. Even Shri Narendra Modi always in need of the internet inches away from himself.

    I was particularly intrigued with Modi’s comment on Twitter. This made me think back to when I first heard about this social media platform. At first, I don’t believe anybody saw the powerful potential of this platform. How could someone who was trying to express themselves seriously do it within 145 characters? Now, we have world leaders describing a country’s future political plan without exceeding the maximum amount of characters Twitter allows.

    After completing the video I was wondering about some the criticism that would have been brought up in a separate debate. Knowing there is always something good going on in the YouTube comment section, I decided to give it a look. One commenter brought up the point regarding Modi’s intense focus on the internet. This commenter believed that the Modi should invest more of his time into other important issues such as agriculture and the economy. Although Modi has committed a large portion of his focus in office towards the Internet, it would be wrong to assume this focus is being wasted on this issue. Instead, Modi’s push for the expansion of the internet in India will have a beneficial impact on all aspects of Indian society. For example, Modi expressed the importance of satellite usage in India. These satellites are not merely used to make communication between civilians and politicians easier, but also improve areas such as agriculture. It is important to remember that although the majority of us in class cant remember a time without the internet, it is relatively new to the world. As Modi can clearly see, a connected India does not only change democracy but also numerous physical aspects of society.

    Zoë Kagan said:
    February 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Harnessing the Power of Tech: Response to Modi’s “Technology in Politics” Speech

    I think we would all agree with India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, that technology is an important part of our world on many levels. Speaking at the Google Big Tent Activate Summit shows his sage strategy in calling attention to technology is working. As an Indian politician who pioneered using tech as part of his campaign, Modi’s speech is very poignant. His speech mainly emphasized the good uses of technology in politics. Before this however, he seems to assume a certain optimism about tech. It makes sense, as he has really accepted tech into his life and campaigns fully including many a selfie and even the use of Google Hangouts with citizens.

    Tech, according to Modi’s statements during the early part of the speech, is something he is embracing for the greater good of Indian democracy. He says that the empowerment of people from ordinary people, to global citizens, to himself has been enhanced by the use of the internet. This is what is beneficial for a democracy. India is a powerful country that is home to over a billion people of great wealth as well as stark poverty. The thought that the internet is greatly empowering to all is one that I support, especially in terms of allowing people to share ideas no matter who they are or where they are from. Modi’s idea of government transparency using communication expedited by the internet is particularly progressive and optimistic. Of course, this calls to mind the truth that not everyone has access to the internet. In a discussion I had in another class, the problem of internet use and communication in India is access. This is an issue in the U.S. as well, even if we may never see it first-hand. At St. Lawrence tech greatly enables us, with this class being an example making video conferencing our professor commonplace, and checking Twitter for the most up-to-date newslines. Optimism and progressive thinking toward the integration of tech is beneficial to a powerful democracy indeed, but it may not be realistic for all people, in India, the U.S., and the rest of the world.

    Modi is not blind to this. He emphasizes his use of tech as a means to remedy this. It is interesting that though many technologies may not be fully accessible to everyone, it is not wholly elitist now. The way that the world works, especially the way that news breaks and is communicated and publicized, is different now because of global technology. Access is not such a problem if news is also facilitated and promoted further by tech. It is likely that Modi uses tech to become more universally approachable. This also combats elitism in politics, and gains voter attention. This is why Modi highlights the importance of tech for politicians. He refuses the idea of some that technology is a “problem-creator” and instead asserts the importance of “harnessing it” for its use as a powerful network. He introduces how tech helped him in his campaign by giving the an example of a 3D projection of himself speaking to audiences. No matter how you see it, this will create buzz. As is famously said, “any publicity is good publicity.” Whether or not most people agree with a politician in general may not be the issue. Alternatively, viewership of the politician connecting with audiences makes more of an effect.

    Modi supports his statements with the acknowledgement that the increasing activity in technology allows for new communications. As we mention constantly in class, we, too, experience this everyday in our constant engagements with technology. If you “like” a politician on facebook, her or his posts will pop up and garner face time directly with you, the potential voter. There are countless other examples in the batch of widely-used social media outlets. We can describe tech as a new political outlet as a unique space for knowledge creation. It is very important as it is one that reaches and connects many who might not typically connect. This also supports the democratic ideal. Further, Modi mentions GIS as another supporting factor that many technologies allow us these days. It is all very advanced. In comparing to my experience interacting with tech, I then had to stop and think about how amazing it is that I can so easily connect and observe my world locally and in places I do not yet know, virtually through mapping and communication technologies. This is why, Modi asserts, that “social media is key” as a “great platform for government to interact with citizens.” I agree that our technologies set up a space that is smooth for interaction that can create change. I also agree with Modi’s example of tech as a great organizer, specifically for public events that “reach out” to thousands. He even goes as far to argue that this kind of networking is more effective than any ad campaign.

    Overall I think that Modi’s speech is optimistic, powerful, and smart. Appearing to give this speech (and being repeating in videos online, watched by people and students such as myself alike) speaks volumes about his use of tech and how the political landscape has shifted. Modi ends by saying that he thinks that tech is “neither good, nor bad.” This statement I think is too safe for all that he so eagerly described, but I do think that his actions have ultimately lead him to success. The most important concept that he stressed was how tech “empowers” people in many ways. It is easy for many of us to understand through our own experiences, but hearing a politician so clearly espouse it is important for potential voters. I am not sure whether tech is more “good” or more “bad,” but I do agree with his conclusion on what to focus on. Technological policies, innovations for the greater good, empowering people, and nurturing a development-based agenda are all very optimistic goals for the future of technology, but ones that most, if not all, politicians should pursue in their own interactions online.

    Max Johnson said:
    February 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Max Johnson
    Cyber Politics Blog Post #1
    The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War

    The documentary, The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War, provided great insight into how the cyber world, particularly in North and South Korea, is evolving and transcending not only social parameters but also the battlegrounds for military warfare. One of the biggest reasons for the growth of the cyber space in Korea and throughout the world is due to the expansion of universal, indiscriminate Internet access. If the Internet was costly and only the elite or the ones that could allot a hefty sum of their paycheck were able to access the Internet, the Internet and the cyber space would not be as dynamic as it is today. However, accessible Internet is becoming ubiquitous with the help of Elon Musk and other cyber tycoons and soon enough Internet access will be globally available. Regardless of the endeavors by Musk and others, the documentary mentions how South Korean infrastructure supports Internet access to 90 percent of homes. On the surface, this amount of wide spread internet access might seem like a blessing, but the documentary points to the contrary by focusing attention on the darker side of the cyber world, particularly Internet gaming and cyber combat.

    The documentary leads off with an interesting report of what South Koreans are experiencing in the cyber world by focusing on the prevalence of cyber gaming in both the national spotlight and intimate social arenas. In the U.S., sports tend to dominate the national media due to an intense following on television and in person. Athletes transform into celebrities on a regular basis and industry leading companies like Nike, Budweiser, and Chevy partner with these athletes to advance their brand. As the documentary points out, in South Korea athletes do not garner the same attention like in the U.S. or Europe, but rather the main celebrities come in the form of professional gamers. The craze and following for professional gaming is unprecedented. Top gamers make six-figures and are national icons. But unlike athletics where participating and striving to be the best usually results in a health activity for all ages, gaming has proven to be problematic for both the mind and the body in South Korea. The documentary highlights the pitfalls of gaming, especially on the ground levels where amateurs commit countless hours to their devices in hope of achieving stardom.

    The most intriguing part of this gamer crazed culture is the way people are gathered in what are called “PC bangs.” These “PC bangs” are essentially the South Korean version of a sports bar in American culture. Hundreds of these places are scattered throughout the major South Korean metropolitan areas, serving people of all ages, and from what was showed in the video, without any restrictions. Unfortunately, the byproduct of these gaming hubs, like in American sports bars, is the devastating disease of addiction. The documentary highlights some harrowing examples of people becoming so immersed in their gaming atmosphere that they forgo their obligations to their jobs. One of the persons interviewed in the video mentioned that they were gaming nonstop for close to three days. Lack of responsibility toward your job is one thing but the documentary also presents an even wilder and disheartening story about a woman who become so infatuated and frankly obsessed with gaming that she gave birth in the bathroom at one of these “PC bangs,” then subsequently suffocated her baby as a way of returning to her gaming session without any obligations. These are extreme cases but nevertheless display the power of gaming beholds in the culture of South Korea. The combination of having gaming as the main player in the media markets and gaming hubs like “PC bangs” encourages compulsive gaming, which in turn endangers people’s mental and physical health.

    The culture of cyber space and gaming might endanger people’s health but larger problem stands at the national security level and the rise of cyber space as the medium for warfare and criminal acts. The most enlightening part of the documentary regarding this issue was when they talked about how North Korea first started preparing for cyber war essentially at the birth of the Internet and in more recent contexts have actually been training so called “cyber soldiers” to carry out cyber warfare across the globe. The fact that North Korean operatives were attempting and in some cases succeeding in acquiring information from large corporations is reminiscent of the cold war and the spy rings that encompassed the time period. This type of infiltration is also sobering from both an individual level and national level, especially when the ramifications are so grand. As on the interviewees said, one carefully planned and orchestrated attack made by North Korea on South Korea’s financial, energy, or air traffic control system could result in utter chaos and completely paralyze the nation. The immense amount of power bestowed in the realm of cyber space is staggering. As alluded to before, this battle over the cyber sphere is reminiscent of the cold war, but instead of proliferating nuclear weapons the future might be the proliferation of cyber weapons like hacking or prevention system or soldiers like the ones groomed in North Korea. Cyber war seems like it’s here to stay and with vulnerable systems already in place, who knows what the future might hold.

    Kyle Swartz said:
    February 13, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War Documentary
    Kyle Swartz

    The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War documentary was an eye opening experience into the world of technology. While many argue the benefits of being more connected and debate about the accessibility of faster Internet, this documentary highlights the risks and dangers of the growing cyber world. Are we as people fully prepared to take on the challenges of increased connectivity or are we getting in over our heads?

    The documentary began by talking about the incredibly large gaming community in South Korea and it even compared the top gamers to athletes like Tiger Woods. These top gamers can make six figure salaries not to mention the endorsements from advertising and the added benefits of being looked upon as a “hero.” The lure of being a professional gamer and making six figures by sitting in front of the computer screen all day is too much for a majority of South Korea’s population. Millions of young Koreans have become addicted to online gaming. This problem of addiction has gotten so bad that hospitalizations and deaths have been linked to online gaming addictions.

    Doctors at the Gongju National Hospital say that they have patients in their care that have spent five to seven days playing videogames without sleep. From those statistics it is easy to see why they believe the line between reality and fantasy has been “blurred” in many cases and that teens that play violent videogames for 24 to 48 hours or more may start to believe that the violent acts committed within the videogames are acceptable within reality. Not only do these games affect normal brain function, but doctors have also noted that sitting down for extended periods of time while playing these videogames can lead to slipped disks, blood clots, and internal injuries to organs not to mention muscle atrophy. Dr. Lee Jae-Won runs the Save Brain Clinic within Gongju National Hospital, which is a specialized psychiatric unit that treats Internet addiction. Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation is one of many methods of treatment designed to activate parts of the brain left idling during Internet gaming. The addiction to online gaming is too much for many young teens and adults. The documentary mention a case involving the death of an infant due to starvation because the parents were too addicted to gaming to feed their child. An electrician was also interviewed in one of the many internet gaming café’s that populate Sol who had been playing videogames for close to two days without sleep already when he should have been at work. The tragic stories of so many people addicted to fantasy and escape from reality are more than numerous in an age when technology is increasing at an exponential rate.

    The documentary then moved on to mention the ever-present conflict with North Korea. It was mentioned that North Korea had been ready for a cyber-based battlefield since the 1980s and that it had sent spies to South Korea and America to learn about Hacking and planting viruses in foreign networks. North Korea, although much of which is isolated from the outside world, has managed to recruit some of the most promising young hackers and programmers and has managed to create a formidable cyber division of their military. Although South Korea has a significant technological advancement on North Korea, North Korea still manages to hack into South Korean networks quite often. The South has done their own share of recruiting of technology experts, who are predominately teens, to add to the increasing cyber security of South Korea. They are trained to identify hacking into the network and how to respond to such situations but even so, hacks still occur. One example was when North Korea hacked into a South Korean bank and nobody could access bank accounts for about a week. The bank then had to pay approximately $400 million to upgrade their cyber security to prevent (or rather delay) future attacks. This is just one of many examples of how North Korea targeted the banking industry rather than a government organization. It was mention by a North Korean defector in the documentary that it is much more harmful to launch a cyber attack on a private corporation or bank than it is to hack a government organization. This is because it induces panic into the entire population rather than a select few who are in charge. North Korean defectors have been busy spreading propaganda against the corruption in the North Korean government. Since technological communication is out of the question, they have sent messages tied to balloons to drift over the North Korean boarder and spread awareness. These defectors are of course at risk for doing so. Many have had assassination attempts against them and have barely escaped. This goes to show that cyber wars can lead to real deaths. Will the cyber wars of the future be contained to networks, or will they simply be one piece of global assault such as land, air, and sea? This documentary left me with many questions on the future of technology as well as leaving me questioning whether we are ready for the future of technology.

    This documentary showed me the dark side to technological advancement. Of course I was previously aware of the threat of cyber warfare, however, I had not fully comprehended the affects that increasing technology has on the youth of the world. Online gaming addiction to international cyber security, South Korea and the rest of the world are undergoing a technological renovation that will undoubtedly have its pros and cons for adults and youth alike.

    Mike Gellman said:
    February 14, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Mike Gellman
    Cyber Politics Blog Post: The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War

    This video delved deep into the Korea’s seemingly ever increasing cyber world. It is a huge part of the countries successful economy but there is a downside to this booming industry. Many Koreans have developed a crippling addiction to video games and Korea is also having to deal with a cyber war. With 90 percent of Korean households’ being connected to the internet, it is clear that Korea is embracing the age of the internet possibly more than any country in the world.
    Korea’s cyber obsession has led to rapid growth in things like ESports where professional gamers are treated with the celebrity of professional athletes. To Koreans, the best of these ESports players are heros comparable to people like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Just like how America obsession with sports like football have caused problems like high rates of concussions with the kids who play it, Korea’s obsession has also led to issues. A portion of the population has become incredibly addicted to these video games. PC bays, which are rooms with a ton of computers in it, are extremely popular in South Korea. It is here where you can see the length at which some Korean citizens are addicted to video games. Inside these PC bays it is hard to tell whether it is day or night outside. This veiled environment is how these bays make money because gamers are more likely to stay for longer periods of time, in some cases days. The documentary also tells the story of a couple who were so addicted to video games that they neglected their baby until it died. The most disturbing part of the story was that instead of caring for her real child the mother was busying caring for a child in a game she was playing. Stories like this show just how this addiction can blur the line between reality and games.
    Due to this widespread problem of video game addiction, places like the Save Brain clinic have been built. Here you see a child receiving electromagnetic treatment for his video game addiction. This type of treatment is used to stimulate parts of the brain that have been weakened or neglected from hours of video game play. The doctor also talks about how sitting and playing for so long can cause issues in other parts of the body like the back and legs. There are also concerns about the connection between violent video games and actions in the real world. The psychiatrist mentioned several cases of the line between real and fantasy being blurred after excessive game play. Around a dozen real life murders have been blamed on the addictions people have with these cyber war game. Health and psychological issues like this and even video game related deaths will only go up if Korea cyber activity keeps expanding. I think this shows that the internet, just like everything in life, must be used in moderation for it to be healthy.
    The internet has brought many great advances to Korea but it has also brought the very real threat of cyber attacks. North Korea is known to have a very competent cyber warfare program. This was seen recently with North Korea’s apparent hack of the company Sony over the film The Interview. Starting in the 1980s, North Korea have apparently trained around three thousand experts to form a kind of cyber warfare task force. They started by sending agents abroad to places like the US and South Korea to collect information on computer related companies. They then used this information to create hacking software to infiltrate these companies systems. The hacking of the Nonghyup Bank last year was a great example of why North Korea was developing all this technology. When the bank was hacked millions of people were not able to access their money and the bank had to spend around 400 million dollars updating their cyber security. As the North Korean army defector explained, attacks on companies like banks are more harmful than attacks on military buildings. It damages the economy by making the companies spend as well as harming the civilian population.
    This battle that is going on between North and South Korea highlights a new form of warfare that is likely to become very prevalent in the future. With internet access increasing globally at a very high rate, warfare will start to be done from places like the War Room in the University of Korea instead of on the battle field. From an American’s point of view, this seems very worrying as the US is currently falling behind countries like South Korea in terms cyber advancements. With all its huge businesses and banks, the US seems like the perfect target for this kind of cyber warfare. Hopefully the government understands this and takes the right measures to ensure the public’s safety.
    For me, this documentary showed a glimpse into what problems the future is likely to hold. As the computers and the internet become more widespread people going to have to find ways to separate themselves or at least take a break from it to make sure things like the cyber addiction shown don’t become a serious issue in the future. It also showed the cyber warfare can be more harmful to country than traditional warfare in many ways. Both these issue are very new so the world hasn’t had a lot of time to figure out ways to deal with them but it is good that they have been identified.

    jsroot11 said:
    February 14, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Korean Video
    The Korean Cyber War video investigates the worlds leading user of the cyber world and the internet, South Korea. First of all, as an American, I would have never had thought South Korea was a leading force in cyber use. Before watching the video I believed that either China, the US, or even India had dominated the world with cyber use and connection through the internet. This could have been because of its relations with North Korea, or its geographical location. How ever, after watching this documentary I realized its relationship with North Korea and its location are the reasons why they are leading the world with cyber use.
    The narrator or investigator that shows us the cyber life of South Korea begins by introducing how the internet and the cyber world has grown and shaped the society and culture of South Korea. To be honest, the first fifteen minutes or so of the video seemed like a joke. The video had us follow a man watching a bunch of people play video games, and competing against one another on online networks. The information that was being presented initially seemed kind of weird and useless. But, as the video moved on, the narrator explained how the internet has played such a major role in south Korea, one that i was not familiar with. As an American, and coming from an American culture, I see the internet in a different way. To me, the internet is a source of information and connecting. But, the video showed me a different side of the internet. South Koreans have used the internet to create a world of gaming and fame through people becoming famous for their accomplishments on the internet. I guess this could compare with people becoming famous through social media. South Korean have literally formed gaming as a sport, with people making large amounts of money from it.
    As the video went on, the narrator discusses how the revolution of the internet has created a society around the internet, but not one without flaws. First, the health effects and neglect that has over come gamers has clearly had its stance in society. When first watching, I couldn’t take this seriously. People were gaming for days, and at the extreme not taking care of their own families or skipping out on work. What a Joke. Personally, I believe this why the internet has caused so many problems. The fact that people have health issues from gaming is out of this world, and unimaginable. Second, The internet as most of us know, is almost accessible to anyone as long as they have access to a network. With this in mind, and with South Koreas relations with its enemy in the North, their new cyber world and reliance on the internet has created a different form of threats, cyber war fare. It is important to point out South Korea is not the only case for this. Nearly anyone who uses the internet or cyber space is vulnerable, and north Korea is not the only threat. People around the world, hackers, are all people who contribute to cyber war fare. In this care, the documentary focuses on the threat posed by North Korea and their elite members that have been specially trained for cyber ware fare.
    Rob Scoon mentioned in his post, the idea that Cyber ware fare is both new and we are still learning about it. I agree and disagree with this. The video mentioned that the North Koreans had been planning on using cyber war fare since the 1980s. Yes, that is not to long ago, how ever, the internet and the people who have become experts in it has increased drastically. Today, at least from an american view point, most people know how to work a computer. With this in mind, the threats towards the internet have become increasingly more real and dangerous, which this video clearly states. One example of such from the film that stood out to me was the immediate threats against banks. The film described how attacking banks networks could cripple a nations entire economy, thus having numerous consequences. The threat of hacking is real and should be a main priority. Recently, the North Koreans were accused of hacking a US Japanese based company, Sony. Sony being a major corporation, was hacked with the outcome of progressing films to be released on the internet early. Doing so had many negative side effects against the company, but the big issue was how easy it was do it. Such an attack, although committed through cyber warfare puts into perspective of real posed threats. i believe Security needs to be greatly improved and invested in, in order to have some sense of control over the cyber world and internet.

    Joe said:
    February 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Joe Nickerson
    Cyber Politics Blog Post #1
    The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War

    Learning about all that goes on in Korea regarding cyber warfare and gaming really left me feeling concerned and frankly disgusted. There’s no doubt in my mind that people in South Korea have a serious problem on their hands in regards to internet gaming addictions and cyber warfare with their neighboring North Korea. The cyber gaming addiction struck me the most out of everything that was covered in the short film. The truth is that it is real, and it has left many Koreans in the dark regarding what is fantasy and what is reality. The short film also covers the topic of cyber terrorism with a focus on the threat of North Korea.
    The movie starts out by showing South Korea’s number one source of entertainment; online gaming. For me when I was watching, I could not help but to think how incredibly dumb it sounded that these “gamers” were viewed as societal legends in South Korea. They even went as far as comparing the number one gamer in South Korea to Michael Jordan. I find that to be disrespectful to the great MJ. It seems a little far-fetched for gamers to be making salaries of 170 thousand dollars a year. I do not think that gaming serves any great purpose in the larger scheme of society, so I find it absurd that these people are raking in so much credibility and money, while spending up to 13 hours a day practicing. I believe the video went on to describe the downfalls of a society that idolizes gaming so much very well.
    In the lower end of the gaming spectrum lies “gamers” with addictions to gaming that ultimately serve as detriments to their own lives. The women doing research on the online gaming went on to say that many Koreans have trouble interpreting Fantasy and Reality. These gamers are known to stay in PC Hubs gaming for durations of a week straight. One man being interviewed admittedly came out and said he was addicted to gaming, and he was going on his third day straight of gaming, putting off work and all other facets of everyday life. A more extreme case talked about in the film was of a young woman who was at a PC hub for 3 days, causing her to forget about her newborn baby. Her new born died of starvation, and her reasoning for not feeding her baby, was that she got caught up in a game and was nurturing her virtual newborn avatar. I was so turned off when I heard this, especially because after it was all said and done, she was not even convicted because she happened to be pregnant with another baby. If a new mother is able to become distracted from her newborn baby for three straight days, there is a very serious problem at hand. Gaming addictions could easily compare to if not surpass drug addictions. Doctors are concerned about gamers who sit in the same spot for hours on end because it causes them to slip disks in their backs from the inactivity.
    The massive reliance on the cyber world in South Korea also poses some serious threats to the wellbeing of the nation. The video gives North Korea credit for gaining ground in the cyber world. They go as far to say that they have become a threat to South Korea. Hackers in North Korea have made cyber attacks on banks in South Korea causing a fair amount of panic by users of the bank. The threat they pose is to the functions of everyday life like closing a bank, causing hectic mayhem, to blowing up a power plant in South Korea, causing mass levels of death. I was happy to see that South Korea is taking steps to prevent a tragedy like so from happening. A team of “nerds”, as the video describes them, is being trained to detect threats and deal with them accordingly. These people have already proven to be useful in South Korea. The film shares a story of a North Korean defector who was an active member of the Anti North Korea group, who’s life was saved by the work of these people. He was supposed to meet an old friend at a subway station, but the South Korean team of counter intelligence was able to pick off the attack and tell him not to go. The man ended up being caught with multiple poisonous lethal weapons on him.
    I thought that all the passion around the anti North Korea movement was interesting. It seems that South Korean society views North Koreans as “brothers” and they harbor no bad feelings towards them. However it is the dictator that they all seem to share a hate for. I thought it was very interesting to see them sending hot air balloons full of news about the dictator across the border via the air. It just goes to show just how serious they are about bringing Kim Jung Un down.

    Nick Moffitt said:
    February 14, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Nick Moffitt
    Blog Post Response

    Modi Video-“Technology in Politics Speech”

    Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi raised many significant points of discussion at the Google Big Tent Active Summit Modi is a very strong supporter of what the Internet can provide the people of the world in the future. Being a politician, Modi understands the impact that the internet has when connecting him to his citizens. By being connected to his civilians Modi is at the advantage of being able to hear the opinions of his people while trying his best to incorporate them into his decision making. Modi is so invested with the fact of what technology can do for the world that he uses google handouts and takes many selfies. Technology, according to Modi, is something he is embracing for the greater good of Indian democracy. Modi states that “the empowerment of people from ordinary people, to global citizens, to himself has been enhanced by the use of the internet”.

    Although the importance of the internet cannot be overstated in the mind of Modi there are concerns elsewhere when a leader spends this much time focused on a specific subject. For example, Modi should spend more attention on the Agriculture and Economic sectors of India, especially seeing how there is an extremely large number of poor people among the 1 billion-plus population. Modi envisions that a connected India will not only change democracy but also many other areas of society, thus the emphasis on the internet over many other areas.

    Modi’s idea of government transparency using communication is an idea that can make India flourish in time. However to address my earlier point India is in need of more economic structure and if the economy turns for the better (which isn’t to say its currently bad) more internet users can play a role in India’s political day-to-day actions

    Zayn Thompson said:
    February 14, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Zayn Thompson
    The secrets of the Korean cyber war
    This video on South Korea brought to light the many of the issues that the Internet has brought to that region. With the fact that about 90% of the people in South Korea have access to broadband Internet, it has become a big part of their lives. Not only are Internet games used recreationally, but also it generates a large amount of money, and people will watch others play a video game just as Americans would watch a T.V. show. The high-end gamers are even viewed as celebrities there, and make over 100 thousand per year. There are even looked upon as role models and heroes just like some Americans view athletes such as Michael Jordan, putting them into some fairly impressive company. With the importance of computers and gaming in their lives, many will become addicted. They estimate that 2 million people, including one-fourth of all teens, are addicted to online gaming, which is a staggering amount. The documentary then went to the Gongju National Hospital, where there is a psychiatric clinic to help treat addicted teens. They were using a machine on an 11-year-old boy that stimulates parts of the brain that have been ignored due to excessive gaming. This is just one of the many facilities that have been used to treat kids who have shown serious signs of addiction. This part is where I became very surprised, as these gamers play hours on end, non-stop, and enough where many normal brain functions are not being used. They even mentioned a story where a baby died due to starvation because the parents were so addicted to gaming that they completely forgot about it.
    There are even parlors for cheap Internet gaming scattered everywhere, which is actually creating a big industry in South Korea. One of the people interviewed there actually admitted that he had been there for two straight days, and had been skipping work.

    Not only has the Internet and gaming created an addition problem in South Korea, but it has also led North Korea to launch coordinated cyber attacks on them. North Korea has trained operatives and had then go the S Korea to study be employees at places were the could infiltrate their network. Based on information they collect from these companies, they are able to create better programs for hacking. They can end up destroying them or infecting them with viruses as well. One story was the hacking of a South Korean bank, which left almost 30 million people without access to their money for more than a week. This, as one could imagine, caused panic around the country.
    The part where it gets very interesting is when one person who was interviewed said that hacking the networks of places such as banks or financial companies, instead of government or military agencies, would paralyze the whole nation and its people within a second, as they saw with the bank hacking. The people in North Korea who pull off these attacks are known as “cyber troops,” which makes it seem like the new wars will be ones that take place over the Internet. A point that struck me, but one that I definitely agree with now, is the fact that cyber terrorism can inflict just as much, if not more, damage that regular weapons. Hacking an airport, and its control tower, could cause chaos as planes could crash into one another, and would limit travel. Another example was what if a nuclear plant was hacked into, as the hacker could possibly trigger an explosion that would be devastating to the surrounding area. Even the clean drinking water supply was something that was brought up, which would affect almost everyone.
    The last part of the video covered a classroom in South Korea, one where students were actually being taught how to detect and counter different types of cyber attacks, which leads me to think that this could possibly be a growing industry. The closing part remarked that the next war would be fought in the cyberspace, and not with the conventional weapons that we are accustomed to seeing. It now seems as if both South Korea and North Korea are loading up and training more “cyber troops” for a battle that may not be too far into the future.

    After watching this documentary and analyzing it, I do believe that cyber security should be one of our priorities as a nation moving forward, given the vast and drastic complications it could pose. This shows some of the problems that the Internet could create in the near future, as it slowly becomes a bigger and bigger part of our lives. As is the case with most things, there are both good and bad aspects of the Internet, and I was just able to get a deeper understanding of what the bad looks like.

    Louie Freda said:
    February 14, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    The Secrets of the South Korean Cyber War was very valuable to watch; it informed me of the extent and dangers of South Korea’s frenzy for online gaming, and North Korea’s dangerous cyber-solider capabilities.
    In South Korea, 90% of homes have a broadband net connection. Comparatively, the United States has only about 70% of its homes connected to broadband net connection. In the capital city, Seoul, there are 21 “media polls”. Each of these polls provide free accesses to the Internet, they are a city curiosity and a tourist sensation. Through these “media polls” the documentary highlights how South Korea has “they are a visible reminder of how (South Korea has) enthusiastically embraced the high speed Internet”.
    South Korea’s wholehearted embrace of high speed Internet has lead to the rise of competitive online gamers. These gamers (normally about 18-19 years old) play on teams, train hard, earn high salaries and are on highly rated cable television just like conventional athletes in the United States. The documentary highlighted the power couple of the worlds greatest gamer and one of the most popular South Korean actresses. He was compared to Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, imagine the hype around a marriage between a titan in the sport and Beyoncé or Oprah. The team of gamers around the gamer featured practices for more than 10 hours a day and can earn around $170,000 a year. Because they are featured on some of the most highly rated cable television shows the very best gamers can earn additional fortune and fame through signing autographs and featuring in hit movies. Very similarly to United States athletes many gamers are not seen as players, they are more seen as heroes. But all of this passion for Internet gaming has a nasty dark side.
    The major problem for South Korea in terms of Internet gaming is addiction. South Korea has blazing speeds and lots of access making it relatively cheap and easy accessible for many people to start playing. Internet game parlors are a huge industry that allows for everyday people to play the newest, hottest, hit game for a cheap price and for as long as they want. Operators of these parlors make it difficult to gauge the passage of time, many customers will play for hours in a row. The electrician Ji Nil had been playing for two straight days, despite the fact he should be working. He admitted, “Frankly speaking, I think I am an addict too.” Ji is not alone; approximately 2 million gamers in South Korea don’t know when to call it quits. One of the saddest aspects of this rising addiction problem is that gamers are generally quite young. Kids as young as 11 are being treated by Dr. Li using specialized magnetic cranial stimulation to open up parts of their brains that had been neglected during marathon gaming. Sitting down and playing online games for hours on end can lead to slipped disks and the formation of blood clots.
    Furthermore Dr. Li believes that prolonged video game exposure can “blur the line between fantasy and reality.” He believes that if children play particularly violent video games for a continued period of time, excessively violent actions will be seen as less radical and more acceptable. I have heard this hypothesis a lot, and in my experience I believe there is some truth to it. My parents refused to let me play “Mature Rated” video games until I was 12 because they thought it would be harmful to expose me to that type of content at such a young age. I did play lots of violent war and crime games but I never felt that reality was becoming blurred with the game. In fairness I never had even close to the amount of exposure theses kids had, I was limited to 2 hours a day. Even now I play at most 3 hours of video games.
    Stories like the ones highlighted in the documentary certainly alarm you though. South Korea has directly attributed 12 deaths to Internet gaming and many believe that many more were because of the violent nature of the games customers are exposed too for hours, sometimes days on end. The terrible neglect of the infant while the parents played endlessly on games was heartbreaking and proved to be that Internet gaming has an incredibly high addictive power over the human mind.
    Unfortunately the problems of addition may not even be South Korea’s greatest problem with a heavy dependence of the Internet. Despite North Korea’s obvious economic lacking they have still been able to establish themselves as more than adequate “cyber soldiers”. According to defectors North Korea takes it most talented and brightest minds and trains them in the ways of cyber warfare. North Korea deploys them to other western democracies to disrupt normal day to day functions. Specifically North Korea targets the financial institutions of the South, making it difficult or impossible for South Koreans to conduct business or live modern day-to day life. The defectors noted that North Korea targets more than just its southern neighbor, they specifically target Australia and recently they launched an attack on the United States. Attacks that spread discord and dysfunction delegitimize the regime where the attacks happen. The threat of cyber attack may not have the direct destructive capability of conventional weapons platforms but they are capable of causing the same kind of terror and distrust that destroys trust in the government’s ability to keep it citizens safe.
    The Secrets of the South Korean Cyber War was a valuable learning experience; it educated me of the amount and hazard of South Korea’s frenzy for online gaming and North Korea’s dangerous cyber-solider capabilities and ambitions.

    Nick Ford said:
    February 14, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Nicholas Ford
    GOV 377: Global Cyber Politics
    Blog #1

    The Secrets of the Korean Cyber War documentary was very compelling, as it highlighted the perplexities of Korea’s cyber culture. Before watching the documentary, I was aware that cyber revolution was present and growing rapidly in our modern culture, but I was not aware of how overwhelming and paralyzing it has evolved to be. The issue of Korea’s cyber culture presented in the documentary is more chaotic and alarming than I expected, and in my opinion, is completely influenced by the rise of the Internet Revolution. While society has become more technologically advanced and connected with this cyber revolution, the growth of the cyber world clearly poses many threats to its users. The documentary really enlightened me about these issues, as it touched on both South and North Korea’s current cyber cultures. While South Korea’s cyber warriors are battling in online games and the negative backlashes it presents, North Korea is exploring their advanced cyber attack capabilities.

    The documentary opened by talking about South Korea’s cyber boom and the gaming culture that has evolved. The cyber warrior and gaming industry has become so popular that professional cyber gaming leagues have been created, bringing in millions of dollars to the South Korean economy. The top league of E Sports, in which professional teams go head to head, is broadcasted on nation cable television and is compared to the United States sport culture. While Americans spend their weekends attending and watching professional sports, like football, millions of South Koreans spend their nights watching cyber warriors compete in battles. The top players in these professional cyber leagues are national icons and make annual salaries of upwards of $170,000. The gaming industry is so successful and prominent in South Korea that the best cyber warriors are being considered equivalent to global icons like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods of cyber gaming and are heavily endorsed by the countries leading brand names and companies. The documentary followed the country’s number one gladiator, Lim Yo-Hwan, and expressed that it took years of practice and would spend more than ten hours of gaming daily to become the cyber hero he is today. After watching this segment of the documentary I did not know what to think, as my reaction to the popularity of these cyber professional leagues was comedic and burlesque. Then I began to recognize the reality of the cyber revolution and its impact on our modern culture, specifically in South Korea. It is truly unfortunate to see how the cyber revolution is warping cultural trends, as I believe it is juvenile and meaningless.

    Though, not every cyber warrior is as coveted as Lim Yo-Hwan. The documentary made it clear that only a few make it to the top, as many gamers languish at the bottom of a pit of addiction and desperation. Instead of playing in broadcasted arenas on national television, the majority of the gaming industry feeds their untamable addictions in PC Bangs. These gaming parlours line the streets of cities and completely consume the nation’s cyber population. PC Bangs have become so contagious in the South Korean culture that gamers can spend days continually playing without interruption. The documentary focused on and interviewed an electrician, Jin-il, who was going onto his third day of uninterrupted gaming, despite the fact that he was supposed to being working. Jin-il explained, “Frankly speaking, I think I’m an addict too. I know I have to quit gaming for the sake of my own life. But I cannot quit.” Jin-il perfectly summed up the unfortunate addiction of cyber gaming, and truly illustrated the power of this cyber epidemic. Jin-il along with the estimated two million cyber gamers are over extending their welcome in gaming parlours, as many are becoming hospitalized due to their addiction. The Gongju National Hospital, south of Seoul, South Korea, runs a clinic called, “Save Brain,” that treats Internet addiction. Dr. Lee Jae-Won, head doctor of the clinic, explained that, “sitting in a chair for a long period of time can lead to slipped discs or the formation of blood clots causing damage to other organs.” Along with detrimental health issues, there have been several deaths related to online addiction. The most devastating case was that of a three month old baby who was neglected by her parents and starved to death, as both parents were busy satisfying their gaming addictions at local PC Bangs. It is scary to see how these cyber addicts are failing to recognize the difference between fantasy and reality, as they become helplessly entrenched to the overwhelming power of the cyber world. It is horrible to see and watch how the terrible addiction of the cyber world is destroying people’s livelihood and wellbeing.

    The documentary then went on to discuss the issue of cyber warfare and the threat to national security that North Korea has established. While South Korea cyber warriors are gaming in PC Bangs, North Korea is busy establishing itself as a nuclear warrior. Though the technological differences are minimal between the two neighbors, North Korea has gained the competence to infiltrate South Korea’s computer networks, as a cyber terror. Since the early 1980s, North Korea has recruited the most intelligent and outstanding cyber experts and has professionally trained them in software development. North Korea has trained and produced thousands of experts, and they have become known as “soldiers of cyber terror war.” North Korea even sent information agents overseas to the United States and South Korea to study information and infiltrate computer and media companies. Based on the data the agents gathered, North Korea has developed programs for hacking and spreading destructive viruses. Last year North Korea attacked/hacked the network system of the Nonghyup Bank in South Korea and disabled more than 30 million bank accounts from being accessed for more than a week. The bank realized the serious threat of cyber terror and spent 400 million dollars upgrading its cyber security. North Korea’s goal of cyber warfare and terror is not just to target major financial systems, but also to spread fear and dysfunction across South Korea. Fortunately not all of South Korea’s cyber warriors are playing online games, as many computer nerds are being trained to counter the attacks from the North. South Korea is developing defense technologies for protection against cyber attacks and is training cyber warriors to detect an attack. It is scary to think how much of a threat cyber warfare and terror can pose to national security, and that could potentially lead to deadly outcomes. With the boom of the cyber culture and the presence of cyber terror, global warfare has the unfortunate potential to become active through cyber space.

    I enjoyed watching the Secrets of the Korean Cyber War documentary as brought a lot of insight on the growing cyber culture and cyber warfare that I was unaware of. I learned that there are always positive and negative affordances in every revolution and advancement made in society. In this case, the internet/cyber revolution has furthered technological advancements and has allowed for greater connectivity, while also presenting the threat of an addicting cyber culture and potentially lethal global war zone. While taking advantage of all the benefits and resources that cyber space offers, precautions must be taken, as the reality of cyber terror is present.

    Andrew Wanamaker said:
    February 14, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Throughout our introduction to Cyber Politics this semester we have covered a wide range of topics and issues pertaining to the problems that have infiltrated our world through online information, data, and technologies that formulate the Cyber network. While America has seen the benefits and consequences of a a new global network centered around the internet and the harm it has caused and threat to our state, it seems as if we have a good understanding on how to keep our country stable. Currently there are many other countries out there dealing with Cyber Warfare; such as South Korea which makes the issue broad.
    After watching the short documentary that briefly addressed some of the issues regarding the internet for South Korea I believe that they are in a big trap right now. What puts many South Korean citizens at risk is that their enemy (North Korea) stands right above the nation. When we think of North Korea we think about their influence on nuclear warfare, however they are much more dangerous then we might expect due to their Bureau 121 Cyber Terror Agency. It is unknown how many agents are in their shadow regime but former South Korean defense minister Kim Kwan Jin explains that there has been over six high profile cyber attacks lead by Kim Jong Un’s tenacious but hazardous dictatorship.
    While the documentary touched on it’s in-state problems concerning the internet among many young adults which was illustrated through the effects that are paralleled between video games and the health of the population I found this issue to be of less concern. First of all I would say that in American about 90% or more of our households have access to bandwidth and that video game addiction has been a major problem within our own society. It was quite striking to see that one family member left their child un attended for three days while being lost between “fantasy and reality” taking care of a digitalized baby, however I am sure crazy things like this happen in our own country. By no means is it fair to judge South Korea and look down on the fact that 18 year olds are making 180k to be world class champions. We as a society have been plagued by drug addiction, obesity, unhealthy lifestyles, gang warfare, etc so that is why I don’t think “gaming” is the main problem.
    The biggest threat that I see from Cyber related threats is that we are heading into a transitional period of a new type of warfare. North Korea poses a huge threat to the rest of the world due to their ability to hack, infiltrate, destroy, seize, and manipulate data. What a lot of people especially those who are older in our society do not realize is that cyber attacks have much more potential energy than the kinetic forces behind a nuclear bomb and North Korea’s strategic goal is to ultimately cause worldwide havoc through dysfunction and mayhem.
    Before the answer was presented in the documentary I asked my self what damage could our world face if a man made virus enters the cloud? It is quite simple because the list is infinite but some of the more important threats that could affect us indirectly or directly are the freezing of financial conglomerates, computer servers of certain banks being hacked, energy mechanisms altered , water supply contamination, nuclear power plants misguided, and air traffic control confusion. It would in fact be a big deal if North Korea found a way to turn off water filtration , cause planes to crash into one another, or find a way to make a nuclear power plant explode. These all have immediate impacts on ourselves, societies, and countries as a whole whether or not we have cognitive dissonance. You just have to imagine the implications that would arise if a third world for example was swiped of its water supply. It could potentially swipe out a whole entire country or countries if sanitation filtration systems were hacked and left us drinking contaminated water. Currently our country uses 19% of its energy source through Nuclear power, the effects that a nuclear power plant explosion would have on our country itself would be immense. On a local scale if Nine Mile Point in Pulaski was to be hacked and for some crazy reason the plant exploded I think the radioactive molecules would reach St. Lawrence University and have an adverse affect on human life throughout the whole north east. If Air traffic controllers suddenly lost full communication of the estimated 5,000 flights in the United States skies at once imagine the amount crashes that would take place. The list is infinite because we are in a new generation that is dependent on data, the internet, and bandwidth signals that if we lost it, the whole system would crash. In South Korea we have already learned of some smaller onset attacks that have had large affects on society as a whole. Juju Bank for example in 2013 was paralyzed from a cyber attack that North Korea imposed which lead to frozen ATMS and erased data within the financial servers. Our global financial system is so interconnected throughout the world that if a Bank in Tokyo is swiped chances are the New York Stock exchange or Dow Jones will take a hit. We have already been given a warning and chances are in the near future there will be more damage to come.
    Despite seeing all these negative constraints that may be imposed someday there was some insightful information that came out of the documentary. University of Korea is now teaching students how to detect hacks which could open up an enormous amount of opportunity for people not only in their domestic country but around the world to take on new careers in cyber defense fields. This may be an opportunity for the United States to hold onto its Hegemonic Power if we have the ability to develop technology that can fill the plugs and protect our alliances from the enemy.

    Andrew Wanamaker said:
    February 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Throughout our introduction to Cyber Politics this semester we have covered a wide range of topics and issues pertaining to the problems that have infiltrated our world through online information, data, and technologies that formulate the Cyber network. While America has seen the benefits and consequences of a a new global network centered around the internet and the harm it has caused and threat to our state, it seems as if we have a good understanding on how to keep our country stable. Currently there are many other countries out there dealing with Cyber Warfare; such as South Korea which makes the issue broad.
    After watching the short documentary that briefly addressed some of the issues regarding the internet for South Korea I believe that they are in a big trap right now. What puts many South Korean citizens at risk is that their enemy (North Korea) stands right above the nation. When we think of North Korea we think about their influence on nuclear warfare, however they are much more dangerous then we might expect due to their Bureau 121 Cyber Terror Agency. It is unknown how many agents are in their shadow regime but former South Korean defense minister Kim Kwan Jin explains that there has been over six high profile cyber attacks lead by Kim Jong Un’s tenacious but hazardous dictatorship.

    While the documentary touched on it’s in-state problems concerning the internet among many young adults which was illustrated through the effects that are paralleled between video games and the health of the population I found this issue to be of less concern. First of all I would say that in American about 90% or more of our households have access to bandwidth and that video game addiction has been a major problem within our own society. It was quite striking to see that one family member left their child un attended for three days while being lost between “fantasy and reality” taking care of a digitalized baby, however I am sure crazy things like this happen in our own country. By no means is it fair to judge South Korea and look down on the fact that 18 year olds are making 180k to be world class champions. We as a society have been plagued by drug addiction, obesity, unhealthy lifestyles, gang warfare, etc so that is why I don’t think “gaming” is the main problem.

    The biggest threat that I see from Cyber related threats is that we are heading into a transitional period of a new type of warfare. North Korea poses a huge threat to the rest of the world due to their ability to hack, infiltrate, destroy, seize, and manipulate data. What a lot of people especially those who are older in our society do not realize is that cyber attacks have much more potential energy than the kinetic forces behind a nuclear bomb and North Korea’s strategic goal is to ultimately cause worldwide havoc through dysfunction and mayhem.

    Before the answer was presented in the documentary I asked my self what damage could our world face if a man made virus enters the cloud? It is quite simple because the list is infinite but some of the more important threats that could affect us indirectly or directly are the freezing of financial conglomerates, computer servers of certain banks being hacked, energy mechanisms altered , water supply contamination, nuclear power plants misguided, and air traffic control confusion. It would in fact be a big deal if North Korea found a way to turn off water filtration , cause planes to crash into one another, or find a way to make a nuclear power plant explode. These all have immediate impacts on ourselves, societies, and countries as a whole whether or not we have cognitive dissonance. You just have to imagine the implications that would arise if a third world for example was swiped of its water supply. It could potentially swipe out a whole entire country or countries if sanitation filtration systems were hacked and left us drinking contaminated water. Currently our country uses 19% of its energy source through Nuclear power, the effects that a nuclear power plant explosion would have on our country itself would be immense. On a local scale if Nine Mile Point in Pulaski was to be hacked and for some crazy reason the plant exploded I think the radioactive molecules would reach St. Lawrence University and have an adverse affect on human life throughout the whole north east. If Air traffic controllers suddenly lost full communication of the estimated 5,000 flights in the United States skies at once imagine the amount crashes that would take place. The list is infinite because we are in a new generation that is dependent on data, the internet, and bandwidth signals that if we lost it, the whole system would crash. In South Korea we have already learned of some smaller onset attacks that have had large affects on society as a whole. Juju Bank for example in 2013 was paralyzed from a cyber attack that North Korea imposed which lead to frozen ATMS and erased data within the financial servers. Our global financial system is so interconnected throughout the world that if a Bank in Tokyo is swiped chances are the New York Stock exchange or Dow Jones will take a hit. We have already been given a warning and chances are in the near future there will be more damage to come.

    Despite seeing all these negative constraints that may be imposed someday there was some insightful information that came out of the documentary. University of Korea is now teaching students how to detect hacks which could open up an enormous amount of opportunity for people not only in their domestic country but around the world to take on new careers in cyber defense fields. This may be an opportunity for the United States to hold onto its Hegemonic Power if we have the ability to develop technology that can fill the plugs and protect our alliances from the enemy.

    Michael Edson said:
    February 14, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Korean Video
    Michael Edson

    When watching this video about Korea and there technological it is amazing to see how technology is everywhere in there world. Korea is known for being the leaders in web power. Which is great for new advances but with all these positives can leave for many great weaknesses that may ultimately hurt South Korea in the long run.

    It was interesting to hear about how on a Friday night in America we watch football games while in Korea there favorite event to watch is the computer game shows. Most American like watching football while Koreans like watching their famous games play computer games. The game that was being showed in the documentary was League of Legends; a game that I played for fun but never thought people would take seriously a job. It is interesting to see that a virtual world is becoming more popular than human interaction. The quote that surprised me the most was when on of the interviews was talking about how much money professional gamers make in a year. He said that the top gamers could make up to $170,000 a year. Most of the professional games are in their teens still. The best gamer who plays League of Legends, Lim Yo-Hawn, is one of the biggest celebrities in Korea. He is featured in commercials, movies, ads, and other forms of publicity that makes him equilievent to Michael Jordan in the United States. Being the best gamer in a country that loves video games is something he loves because he is getting so much support. With this he is setting a trend for Korean kids. Since he is a popular figure in Korea; kids want to be just like him. Try to practice more gaming and to be the best gamer but there are serious health risks that come to computer gaming.

    With an increase in popularity in gaming in Korea more and more people are getting addicted to games. In the documentary they state, “An estimated two million gamers including a quarter of all teens, don’t know when to pull the plug.” Scary to think about that statistic since video games are becoming more technologically advance. In Korea, doctors are treating kids and teenagers who are addicted to video games with are being treated with “transcranial magnetic stimulation.” TMS is stimulated kids brains in the areas that aren’t being used as much because of gaming. This is bringing me to worrisome point that if kids at this young of an age are being treated to stimulate their brain. What should be done about video games in the future? While video games give people a virtual control of life situations there have been studies done about violent video games. To see if a human is affected by playing these games and evidence has show that with violent video games people feel as if it is ok to hurt or kill another human. There needs to be a mental difference of knowing the difference between the virtual world and real world is. Another problem with these video games is that people are spending to much time on these games. The guy who was playing the video game for three straight days was missing work because of the game. That is something that no body should do. These people who are addicted do not have their priorities straight. There needs to be a policy for limiting gaming time because we live in the real world not a virtual world.

    South Korea is know for being the leader in web power which can be beneficial in efficiency as we have seen what big data can do but being so technologically advance can be its biggest weakness. North Korea is trying to create cyber terrorism in different parts of the world. In the documentary they say that North Korea hacked a bank in South Korea and customers could not access their money for a week. While a few months ago North Korea also hacked Sony networks. With North Korea trying to show their power they are not going after the governments directly but country citizens directly. The hacking of the bank made the biggest impact in Korea. People not being able to access their money is very dangerous because with out money people cannot by the necessities to survive. That is why the bank spent 400 million dollars upgrading their security systems so that there is not another attack against their system. They also said in the documentary that North Korea almost hacked an airport. That really scared me the most because if they did hack the system they would have the option to control planes and crash each plane together. What is our option to limit the usage of Internet data so that security can be safe for everyone?

    I agree with Alita in her statement that the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. We can use the Internet for good for spotting trends of medical outbreaks and curing the cause. We can also use the Internet for bad as people can control nuclear power plants to blow up and give radiation to millions of people. As the internet will be a big economic factor in the future there will need to be policies to limit negative actions to human reality.

    Ryan Hackett said:
    February 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    While watching this piece about South Korea I realized the extreme impact that cyber life can have on a society. The video touched upon certain aspects pertaining to South Korea’s society and its neighbor North Korea. It is a powerful tool that has only gained power in the past 20 years and the what the future holds is a beast that will be difficult to tame.

    The video starts out talking about the effect that online gaming has had on South Korea. The effect that it has had on their society, is almost like the impact major sports have here in America. An interesting stat that I found in the video was that these online video games are being followed by 10’s of millions South Koreans and that 90 percent of their population has broadband connections. This is an astounding number that truly depicts the direction in which South Korea is going. This country is technologically advancing at a rapid rate which allows for an area like online gaming to take off and become a widespread phenomenon. As i was watching the video I noticed when they were talking about the top players pay that it was quite low for such a popular activity in the country. The narrator compared the top online gamers to Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Although their status and popularity may be comparable, their compensation is vastly different. The top players in North Korea are making around $170,000 and probably some more income with autographs and appearances. Just last year Tiger Woods earned $61 million dollars and that is an off year for him, due to his back injuries which resulted in missed tournaments. All in all I do see the popularity in online gaming, but i think for such a popular activity the compensation should be much higher than what it currently is. Also regarding the online gaming, the youth in South Korea has become essentially obsessed with the online gaming lifestyle. One individual was seen not leaving his gaming station for almost three days. This has had a negative impact on the youth throughout the South Korean culture. Kids are playing these violent games non stop and basically replacing reality with these games. Several murder cases have been linked to the obsession with online gaming. This reminded me of the popular video game in America, Grand Theft Auto. I know in years past, teenagers have reenacted the game by killing innocent people on the street for fun. In my eyes this is the tipping point in video games, I’m not sure how you would regulate the amount of time or if one is allowed to play a certain game, but when actual lives are being put at stake you have to ask yourself is it really worth it?

    The second half of the video pertained to North Korea and their involvement with cyber warfare. North Korea for decades has been labeled as a nation with dangerous intentions and extreme isolation from the rest of the world. They have always been seen as a threat due to their alarming statements, which has put a watchful eye on them by many countries across the world. Often they have made nuclear threats to destroy countries, but as years have passed they become more aware of the impact that cyber attacks can have on other nations. In the film it talked about North Korean insiders who hacked into the company NH bank in South Korea. 30 million customers were not able to access their accounts for 7 days. The aftermath of this event resulted in NH bank spending more than $400 million dollars on upgrades towards their cyber security system. This was just one of the effects cyber warfare could have on South Korea. North Korea poses many threats when it comes to cyber attacks, some of which can be more dangerous than actual terrorist attacks. For example, with advanced cyber technology, it enables North Korea to hack into an area such as nuclear power plants, which could cause colossal damage across South Korea. By being able to break into complex systems it enables North Korea to hold a dominating presence over South Korea. Fear has been put into South Korea and for good reason. North Korea is not a nation to take lightly and brush their statements under the rug. This is a country who has a dangerous lear who comes from a sick family. This is a country who had a nationwide famine, restricting their own citizens from eating, which resulted in millions of deaths. If this is a country that is willing to kill its own people, than it is not far fetched that they would put their own neighbors in harm way. With cyber warfare only advancing, the need for cyber securitization has become an absolute necessity for not only South Korea, but for every country.

    Ibrahim Khan said:
    February 14, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Ibrahim Khan
    Modi Talk on technology

    As we had discussed in class the answer to why we talk of politics in cyber is power, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech talks exactly on the same lines. In his speech he talks of how technology and Internet have empowered citizens to voice their opinions and influence policy making while for politicians it brings new tools for delivering services according to what people want. He talks of how technology played a role in politics and evolved with the passage of time. Earlier, politicians connected with citizens through pen and paper turning to microphones and motion pictures. All these greatly influenced politics and also shaped by it.

    In the time of pre-internet era, citizens were only limited to voice their opinions through their elected representative and their only major source of information were politicians themselves. With advancement in technology, now Indian citizens are informed and have a direct say. They can easily voice their opinions, influence policies and have forced politicians to deliver and perform rather than just making false promises. I can say this with confidence that technology and internet has actually made the people of that region very informed as compared to 15-20 years from now. It is also a very accessible platform for politicians to connect with citizens. There was a massive movement in Pakistan due to social media in 2013 before the elections. It was the first time that politicians were excessively using technology to connect and inform their followers, especially the youth. Social media is one of the reasons a new political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf gained so much success in Pakistan recently. While in India, technology use was at a much higher level by Modi’s party, which made him so successful in his campaign. Sixty five percent of Indian population is under 35 years of age. Modi’s well trained social media team did a great job in attracting the young to gain votes by keeping a good social media image. There are 27,633,759 Modi fans on facebook, the number speaks for itself.

    The fact that Modi was able to defeat his opponents in 2012 elections has much to do with his use of technology. In his speech he mentions the ways he used technology to connect with citizens. He used the 3d holographic technology which made it possible for him to be in 53 places all at once. This saved him time, money and energy compared to other politicians. He used other means to upload short clips to talk about local issues that were concerning people at that time. This made him accessible at every home and people started connecting with him. He also introduced e-voting system in India. Every individual in India has his/her own voting place where they have to go and vote even if they have to travel for days to reach that place. This made it difficult for Indian army to participate in voting as most of them are posted in different cities and it is hard for them to leave duty and vote to their respective voting place. Modi, through technology made it easier for them to vote online.

    Modi stated technology is a game changer of politics in India. It assures direct democracy which means common man can affect policies and demand transparency, accountability and raise questions to politicians if they are not delivering proper services. He was the chief minister of Gujrat and he modernized Gujrat and made lives of people of Gujrat so much better which made him gain massive following. He gives examples of how his government in Gujrat engaged with massive crowd for the savaramati river front photographic competition. Through online information about the competition they managed to attract more than 200,000 applicants to participate ranging from amateurs to professionals. Modi believes that this was better than any other advertisement. Other example he gave is of the floods in 2006, and with the use of technology, not a single life was lost due to quick information about the flood. Due to such brilliant services by Modi and his party BJP, UN awarded them with public service award for improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in public service. Over all, he made sure that his office listened to peoples voice and addressed grievances of common men. He provided solutions online which gave immediate feedback. Policies were modified on repeated feedback. This is a great example of coordination between politicians and common men, they understand each other and work together as one force.

    In his conclusion, Modi states that technology is “neither good or bad”. It depends on how it is used, if it is under the wrong hands it can be bad. Such as things we discussed in class related to increasing cyber threats and creation of new asymmetries i.e. when weaker actors can influence and threaten stronger actors. Such as Bal Thakeray and his followers in India, and the Taliban in Pakistan. They are small in number of people who have managed to threaten both sides of the governments in power. Other concerns are at the international level. Cyber Space and technologies are inciting to spy on other countries which creates trust deficit. The state is main controller of cyber domain, but is unable to control it absolutely. It has thus become an issue in International Relations which raises many questions regarding security issues.

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