IntroductionInformationTechnology (IT) and Information CommunicationsTechnology (ICT) can have a significant impact on the economic growth of asociety. The use of Information Technology such as computers, laptops, etc. ina society can promote rapid growth because it allows the free travel ofinformation with the internet and can allow more opportunities for connectionsto businesses. Information Communications Technology such as phones and othertelecommunications systems allows for growth because it helps connect a societyto the outside world by allowing everyone to share their own views, which leadsto trade, and trade leads to growth.
Informationtechnology and the internet has become ingrained in almost every society andthe societies without it can still have growth but there is a significantdivide between the two being in that IT societies are usually more economicallysound and thriving. However, Information Technology is becoming more advanced,allowing for cheaper IT systems, this means underdeveloped societies will soonhave a chance to grow through the use of Information Technology. Information Technologyalso usually leads to a more democratic government which may not be the goal ofsome leaders in countries. Background and ObservationIwas born and raised in Texas in the United States of America so the idea ofsome countries never having access to the internet or essential InformationTechnology that allows a society to become more modern and industrialized andhow it can impact the society never affected or occurred to me. However, in myrecent years I have become very interested in technology, and I have seen howimportant Information technology is and how it will truly shape the future ofour world. Also for the first time 2 years ago I had left the country and I hadthe privilege of visiting San Pedro Island in Belize.
San Pedro is a smallisolated island that is fairly underdeveloped and doesn’t have much in the wayof Information Technology, the only places with computers are the majorbusinesses such as hotels, but they are fairly old and are limited in what theycan do with the internet. The businesses there are unique and small focusing onhandcrafted products that doesn’t require importation, there is no Walmart inSan Pedro, there isn’t even a McDonalds, as a matter of fact there are noAmerican fast food chains. My thoughts were that this would most likely be dueto the lack of Information Communication Technology and other IT systems. Thismade me want to research other countries with a lack of information technologyand find out how the country and its citizens are affected. This allowed me tocome across North Korea, a very intriguing country, because the North Koreangovernment chooses to limit Information Technology to control the society, butupon further research I found there also lots of economic problems and thecitizens are affected by the lack of information technology. North Korea has anotable digital divide because the lack of ICT seems as though it affectseconomic growth. This brought me to my research question… How does thecensorship of the World Wide Web and Other IT systems impact the citizens ofNorth Korea and its Economy? Economic ImpactNorthKoreas society has been suffering for many years due to the North KoreansGovernments lack of prioritization in outside trade and the care for its citizens.North Koreans are underfed because most of the countries money goes intomilitarization rather than Information Communication Technologies and generalsupplies so this means that import costs would be high and this leads to manyNorth Koreans starving.
In a recent study by the “Beyond Parallel project atthe Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.” isshows that most North Koreans earn 75 percent of their money from the blackmarket. People illegally export fish, shoes cigarettes and cooking oil, thishelps give the citizens opportunities that they otherwise couldn’t afford.1 This increase of moneycould help families buy food and keep them from starving, but it its illegal soit will not diminish starvation because not everyone will do it. In Fact, NorthKorea doesn’t import many things because they don’t want to run the risk of asecurity breach, possibly giving citizens a new outlook on North Korea focusedon there freedom, this lack of import leads to increased starvation, alsoincreased prices for things made within the country.2 North Korean black marketsare almost becoming a normal thing because of this factor and also becauseprices are not determined by supply and demand but rather determined on how theNorth Korean Government sees fit. Social ImpactInformationTechnology shapes the way for how humans communicate with each other and therest of the world, because can freely express their views with one another withno regulation.
However, this is not the case in North Korea because they havethe most robust censorship laws out of anywhere in the world. This is thetactic of Kim Jong Un and his predecessor because if there was a free flow ofinformation through the use of cell phones and computers using the internetthen citizens would realize how terrible of a country North Korea is anduprisings would most likely start happening. North Koreans are taught from anearly age that the internet is bad and no one should try to use it, thegovernment tells them this because they don’t want citizens to see the rest ofthe world and find out how different North Korea is… and not in a good way. NorthKorean landlines and cell phones cannot make international calls whatsoever andsometimes calls can be monitored. WIFI isn’t an option in North Korea alsobecause there have been reports of accidentally giving uncensored internetaccess.3 There are many laws set inplace to prevent the use of the internet and foreign radio or any form offoreign media.
If these laws are broken then the consequences can be dire. For example,North Koreans are only allowed to watch North Korean Propaganda and it has beenreported that over 130 North Koreans have been executed because they watchedSouth Korean Television. This is frowned upon because South Korean televisioncan’t present a better way of life that they don’t want citizens wishing for. Forthe people of North Korea, it’s illegal for them to leave their country withoutpermission, this is so no information gets out of the country exposing NorthKorea for what it is. There still has been some people who have escaped thoughand that’s where we get most of our intel on North Korea. The regime evenattempts to restrict movement within North Korea to avoid people findingconfidential places. Its almost as hard to get in as it is out, for the peoplethat do get in, like journalists or famous people, they are under heavysupervision and if they do anything to “disturb the peace” then they can havesevere repercussions. North Korea has also sent thousands of citizens to worseparts of the country for punishment and reeducation.
4Like as stated before thereis absolutely no freedom of speech, and with that comes no freedom of learningthe outside in any way. Also in North Korea, they do not allow anybody to havereligious freedom because organized religion can be seen as a threat, andpeople discovered practicing religion can be publicly executed or sent toprison camps. Also, because of North Korean censorship and exclusivity, it ishard to get enough food without imports and dedicated most money to military,so there ends up being chronic food shortages to the average citizen, there aremillions of malnourished children and babies which leads to stunted growth andhigh risks of health problems. There is virtually no health care in North Koreaso for those who get sick and can’t afford medicine can suffer badly fromsimple and easily curable sicknesses. The prison camps (there are 5) holdanywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 people. They have existed longer than the Naziconcentration camps. For some of the people in these camps, they have not evencommitted a crime but are related to someone who has, they are guilty becausetheir blood is guilty.
There are public executions for small petty crimes, andother varieties, and everyone watches because the regime wants to inflict fearinto the hearts of everyone so they learn that they should not do as thecriminal did. As for the refugees, if a woman happens to escape then most ofthe time they become victims of sex trafficking because china lacks an amountof marriable women. Even though there are severe reproductions people try toescape every year. The children birthed by the women North Korean refugees canwind up stateless because they are neither recognized by china nor North Korea,so they get no basic rights such as education and other state providedservices.
EthicalImpactTomost the ethics behind most of The North Korean Governments decisions arepretty cut and dry, everything that North Korea does is generally bad andprevents basic human rights, they redacted North Koreans freedom of speech,also there is starvation within the country due to its poor purchasingdecisions. North Korea uses IT to create their own intranet called Redstar OS,an intranet is a more localized version of the internet. The few North Koreansthat do get to use the intranet are usually limited to a public computer withsurveillance over it and the intranet provided only gives citizens searchresults that the North Korean government wants them to see, meaning there canbe no spread of new ideas and no true knowledge is actually gained. Also, NorthKorean propaganda is constantly being shown while one uses the intranet. Thisfiltered intranet ensures that only certain media is seen and nobody can getany unwanted thoughts about North Korea. In researching this more, I found outif North Korean citizens can get life in prison or even worse executed fortrying to alter or look up things on the intranet or OS that they shouldn’tlook up. It would be like putting a person in one room since birth and nevertelling them there is more to life than that room, so in their head they thinkthey have total freedom because they don’t know that they are trapped in oneroom in a big world.
However, Intranet access is highly restricted and NorthKoreans only get to access it, if they are given a specific task, and most ofthe time they are being watched. “The average citizen who wants uncensored newseither illegally tunes into foreign radio or relies rumors being passed around.”International calls are also outlawed in North Korea and the can get 5 years ofre-education in a prison camp where the highest penalty is death, if they getcaught making these calls. The free expression in North Korea is absolutelyterrible, the country got a score of 96 on Freedom House’s annual report onPress Freedom, and 100 is the worst score. 5The BBC reports that theradios and television sets in North Korea are pre-tuned to government stations,while radios have to be checked and registered by the police.6 Internet is usually onlypermitted to be used by university students and regime elites. Not to mentionthat the foreign media is becoming less and less permitted and have morerestriction so the outside world can’t see North Korea for what it is but alsoNorth Korean citizens can’t understand the freedom of the outside world.
Theproblem with censoring the intranet in North Korea is that while it may blindthe citizens of North Korea, it also blinds the rulers to because they aren’tfurthering their technological advances so they can’t trade and deal withdigital problems as well. With free press North Korea would be forced to dealwith the overwhelming amount of famine and other problems, but until then therewill be false reports playing down the actual weight of the problems at hand.An interesting bit of code is written to every page on the North KoreanIntranet, that is when anytime Kim Jong Un is mentioned, his name appearsslightly larger than the surrounding text. In a computer, the calendar doesn’tread 2017 rather it reads 106 which is the number of years since the birth ofKim ill sung, the countries previous leader.
The system that the computers arerunning on is called Kwangmyong, and is run by the one and only serviceprovider. The sites that are typically seen are news services like “the Voiceof Korea” and the “Rodong Sinmun.” The reporters for the news sites needextremely careful though because if they make any mistakes it could have dire consequences.Reporters without Borders, states, some North Korean journalists have been sentto “revolutionization camps just for putting a typo in one of their articles.The system that’s in place filtering out all the sites that are unwanted by thegovernment is called mosquito net. This makes only the bare essentialsavailable so nothing unwanted by the North Korean government can happen.
7 Unethical PunishmentsInresponse to government censorship and actions, activists such as KimSeung-chul, a North Korean who fled to South Korea created North Korea Reformradio, which sends anti-government messages to the north. The system in placeon mobile phones have recently set surveillance and better filtering in place. In 2008 There was also censorship in music,usuallyNorth Korea performances are limited to music that has been approved by KimJong-Il. In 1992 during a party Ji Hae Nam, former propaganda officer sang asouth Korean song, and as a result she got sentenced three years in jail, andwas beaten badly. Kim Jong-Il only allows music that praises him or praises theideals of communism.
Pushing further the fact that he wants the world to viewhim as perfect so it can hide the disastrous state of North Korea. Anotherexample of an extreme punishment is that North Korea sentenced two south Koreanjournalists to death for “insulting the dignity of the country”. This wasbecause they had reported on a book called North Korea Confidential. Thejournalist’s names that are sentenced to death are Son Hyo-rim and Yang Ji-ho.They are going to die just because they wrote critically about the regime,which is very undeserving in my opinion. According to the Court, the executioncould be carried out at any moment and at any place. In an interview, accordingto Joo Sung-Ha there were other reporters that reported on this same book andshe does not know why Son and Yang were singled out. The fact that North Koreawould plan to execute just because of a critical review shows that there is awhole bad world in the heart of North Korea.
North Korea is so sensitive ofmedia that portrays as bad that, when the movie “The Interview” was about to bereleased, North Korea said there would be heavy retaliation if the interviewwas released. The movie happens to include the death of Kim Jong-un, which iswhat tipped North Korea off. Originally the movie was about meeting Kim Jong-ilbut when he died in 2011 and Kim Jong-un took power they changed the script sothat the interview would take place with him. The heartless North Koreasentenced a U.S. student to 15 years of hard labor for removing a politicalbanner from a hotel.8 The U.
S. urged North Koreato let him go because the punishment is not justified based on his actions. Thetrial lasted one hour where it shows the student crying and begging forforgiveness telling how his family needs him back home, and that he is onlyhuman and promises to never make the mistake ever again, but he was convictedanyways. If that wasn’t bad enough 17 months later he was released from NorthKorea in a coma and when he got home he later died in the U. S.
The familyclaims that the student “Otto Warmbier” was brutalized and mistreated by NorthKoreans to ensure that one outcome. Thereare still prisoners that are in North Korea today, these include Kim Sang-dukand he was taken in on April 23, and Jin Xue Song, on May 6; the North Koreaaccused each man of “hostile acts.” Not much is known as in why the thirdprisoner Kim Dong-chul was detained in 2015.
According to other prisoners thatare now released, when you’re an American prisoner in North Korea you have asmall cell, and you are underfed and you are stuck in there with no chance ofseeing the outside world. According to the article Asia Pacific, a man namedMr. Kim spent 1 month at Pyongyang University of science and technology wherehe was teaching accounting, and when he was trying to leave the country beforehe could board the plane he was arrested, this is according to the universityChancellor, Chan-Mo Park. Chan-Mo Park was also reported saying that “The causeof his arrest is not known, but some officials at Pyongyang University ofScience and Technology told me his arrest was not related to his work atPyongyang University of Science and Technology. “He had been involved with someother activities outside P.
U.S.T., such as helping an orphanage.
“KimDong-chul, a businessman, was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016because he was accused of spying and other offenses. A month before his trial,Mr. Kim appeared at a government-arranged news conference in Pyongyang andapologized for trying to steal military secrets in cooperation with SouthKoreans. The South Korean spy agency denied any involvement.” 9 False Media and Its InfluenceWhile thereisn’t much in North Korean media, the media that is existent is mostly falsestatements about the US and false pictures of nuclear destruction of UnitedStates cities by North Korean Nukes. North Korean news anchors say things likean upcoming conflict will leave Washington in a “Sea of Fire” There are alsowebsites by communists that state they are waiting to demolish the UnitedStates to ashes. One North Korean television showed a video of a nuclear attackon the White House that was not real.
The announcer talks about how “theAmerican imperialists and the South Korean traitors … will face the most absurdand painful self-destruction, digging their own tombs with their bare hands.” Thereis propaganda where the video ends with a bunch of graves overlaid on to anAmerican flag. Amonth later, as a part of the day of the sun which is a holiday celebrated byNorth Koreans, once a North Korean TV broadcasted a military concert in frontof a huge screen that happened to show a missile attack on San Francisco. NorthKoreans imagery and words have a very numbing sameness about them but the messagesare monitored closely by the US for any changes. . A second U.S.
official saidthat , if the North Koreans stop talking about turning South Korea into a “seaof fire” and threaten things that are even more horrific, then the entireworld, the government and the intelligence community need to take note. 10 Citizensof North Korea are now in the year 103. This different calendar shows the yearssince Kim Il Sung was born, and was introduced in 1997 by son Kim Jong-Il, andhis own birth as people say, took place on Mount Paektu under a double rainbowat the same time a new star appeared in the sky. Kim Jong-Un allegedly scaledNorth Korea’s biggest mountain on his own.
He climbed Mt. Paekt an activevolcano , to meet with 100 soldiers at the summit for a photoshoot. NorthKorea’s state-ran news website KCNA indicated the invention of a generation,waterproof liquid. The country’s Chosun Central Television chancel pinpointedChina as the happiest place to live on Earth, awarding them 100 out of 100points, and humbly demoting themselves to second on 98 points.
North Korean mediais entirely produced and controlled by the State and by its ruling Workers’Party of Korea, which controls all power in the country. Without access to theinternet, the most exposure that any person within North Korea can expect isthrough the more established means like TV, radio and newspapers however theseare controlled by the government.11 Though the Constitutionof North Korea grants freedom of speech and of the press, this is only true ifthe media is positive towards the government. There is only ‘source’ for anynews stories – the Korean Central News Agency, which provides a series of dailypress statements for the news agenda for that day. The government uses thenewspaper to try to show an ideal country that almost based on pure jealousy.
TheUS is the main target, regularly sending the image the media is showing that anattack from the “imperialist” US is in the near future– but always reassuringthe public that North Korea’s own military might will offer easy retaliation. TV broadcasts which only begin every evening after 5pm, whenthe public has finished its day’s work, unless there is emergency news such asKim Jong Il’s death which have manymessages portraying North Korea as a paradise that everyone would want to be apart of. ConclusionInformation Technology isused in a lot of places around the world, and there is a correlation between thesuccess of an economy and its adoption of new Informational Technology.
NorthKorea has a lack of Informational Technology and the economy is very poor witha lot of malnourished and starving people, instead of IT systems the governmentfocusing on military and censorship which means that here is no money forcitizens and they don’t import need resources. North Korea uses the littleInformational Technology it has to manipulate its citizens and censors allforeign media from coming into the country. Therefore, Informational Technologyis a very powerful tool and it can help shape a country and the lack of itcreates a digital divide from the more modern societies and it is more likelyfor that economy to fail. 1Cuban Activists2 TheConstant Crisis3Everything To know4 Howit works5North Korea6Surfing The Internet7Oxford Scholarship8Shockingly Normal9Imprisoned in North Korea10Blinds The People11North Korean Censorship