The "hacktivist" group "Anonymous" made news by hacking into North Korea's propaganda websites, and seizing control of North Korean propaganda machine's Twitter and Flickr accounts. (One important note here: regardless of what they claim, it is extremely unlikely that Anonymous hacked into North Korea, as North Korea's propaganda sites are based out China.)
Anonymous demands that Kim Jong-un resign and install direct democracy in North Korea. At the same time, apparently in order to prove that they indeed hacked into North Korea's propaganda site, Anonymous released the information of the membership of that website--the email addresses, date of birth and other personal information of more than 9,000 members of the propaganda site.
Well, these self-proclaimed freedom fighters probably did not anticipate what would have followed. It was apparent from the email addresses that many of them were of South Korean origin. For example, more than 1,400 email addresses ended in hanmail.net, a large email servicer in South Korea. Out of the 9,000 email addresses, more than 2,000 appear to be of South Korean origin. Seizing upon this, the South Korean far-right wingers engaged in a campaign of Internet stalking to indiscriminately reveal actual names, addresses, occupations and phone numbers of the South Korean individuals who joined the North Korean propaganda site.
As of this moment, there is simply no guarantee that the email addresses that Anonymous revealed in fact belong to North Korean sympathizers. From the emails, the opposite is more likely to be the case, as many of the emails belong to South Korean news organizations. The email addresses even include South Korean National Assembly and the conservative New Frontier Party. There is also the concern that the email addresses were fake or misappropriated. Some of the emails, for example, belong to the email of the webmasters that are publicly on display on large-scale websites.
But such subtleties are completely lost on South Korean right-wingers, who consider North Korean sympathizers to be the absolute evil that must be destroyed at all costs, even if the cost include basic civil liberties for democracy. Already, several South Koreans received a flood of emails and phone calls, shouting obscenities and death threats. South Korea's Supreme Prosecutor's Office vowed to investigate the South Korean members of the site as well, turning this episode into a veritable witch hunt.
Partly because the tyranny of North Korea is so horrific, it is often lost on people that South Korea's own fascist tyranny in the recent past was not much better than North Korea's communist tyranny, and the traces of such fascism still exert strong influences in South Korea. So we might soon see the tragicomedic spectacle of more than 2,000 South Koreans lined up to be prosecuted for daring to browse through a North Korean website.
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