[KS] Korea's Internet problems

Brother Anthony ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr
Tue Feb 20 09:22:58 EST 2007

Many members of our List must be using Apple, Linux or Firefox and will 
therefore have realized years back that they could not do anything useful with 
most Korean sites, especially when financial transactions are involved, because 
only Microsoft platforms allow the use of the notorious Active X plugins, 
that have long been actively encouraged by the Korean government. They 
might like to know that there are (very faint) signs of revolt. The first sign I 
noted was an article in the Korea Times of February 11, 

but there had in fact already been an article a few days earlier, 
and even last year those in the know had begun campaigning,


The irony is that the new Microsoft Vista is designed to block the use of 
Active X and the government authorities are now desperately trying to prevent 
people in Korea installing it because then they will find out how completely 
dependent they have become on bad technology. There is ample room for conspiracy 
theories as to just why Korea sold its soul to Active X (or rather to MS) and 
they will be focussing on the less than clearly identified Mr Kim. It will be 
interesting to see what happens, but it is sad to see the usual response 
appearing, along the lines of "it would cost too much to change, and 
after all, most Koreans are perfectly happy with Microsoft." I think that this 
issue is of some importance to us on this list, since quite a few might 
well want to be able to do online business with Korea without being forced 
to change computers or systems.


Brother Anthony

Sogang University, Seoul





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