There is a flurry of press coverage in Korea these days about a so-called "digital migration" from Kakao Talk to foreign messenger apps. As reported by The Korea Times,"Although KakaoTalk is the most popular mobile messenger in the country, a number of Korean users have migrated to foreign mobile messenger services such as Telegram after the prosecution threatened to start real-time monitoring of social media to crack down on libelous rumors shortly after President Park Geun-hye denounced such accusations as baseless."
As reported in The Korea Joongang Daily,"On Sept. 18, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office established a new cyber investigation team, according to the office of New Politics Alliance for Democracy Rep. Chang Byoung-wan, who is also a member of the Science, ICT, Future Planning, Broadcasting and Communications Committee of the National Assembly. The purpose is to prevent cyber defamation and the spread of false information.The idea sparked controversy and it later transpired that the chat records of the deputy head of the left-wing Labor Party, Jeong Jin-u, had been tapped by the authorities using a warrant. That spooked people across Korea. Telegram, which was ranked around 100th on Apple’s App Store in terms of downloads in Korea until last month, was brought up to the top of the list Sept. 24." The Representative's office released the accompanying graphic (click to see a full size version) showing the increased downloads in Korea of the Germany-based app Telegram.
These developments in Korea mirror similar concern in other countries around the globe as the question of how to balance free flow of information with personal privacy comes to the fore.