Saturday, April 20, 2013

Google chairman's recent North Korea visit and the "dark side of the digital revolution"

The Wall Street Journal has published an interesting article by Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, entitled "The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution."   It is based largely on their recent visit to North Korea, and provides an interesting current perspective on the dilemma that the internet and all new digital technologies and networks pose for the North Korean government.  For example, they note that "Even the idea of the Internet has not yet permeated the public's consciousness in North Korea. When foreigners visit, the government stages Internet browsing sessions by having "students" look at pre-downloaded and preapproved content, spending hours (as they did when we were there) scrolling up and down their screens in totalitarian unison." What makes this situation so poignant is that, just south of the DMZ is a society which is arguably more aware of the internet than any other country on earth.  I recommend reading the entire article.

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