Monday, 18 January 2010

I'm not a tech blogger, but memo to Korea: Germany thinks your browser sucks

The country of Germany has encouraged the whole country to stop using Internet Explorer, as it was the browser that made the hacker attacks on Google China possible. Microsoft itself has said that Internet Explorer might have been the weak link in those attacks.

Meanwhile, Internet Explorer six remains the most popular browser in Korea. Imagine building the greatest highway infrastructure in the world - a country full of Autobahns - and then allowing only horse and buggies on it. That's Korea's internet right now.

I really like that google's finally taking a stand against China's web censorship. The information age is making the great firewall of china more porous: it seems that it can be circumvented if people know how, easily enough. Meanwhile, it makes me nervous that the google accounts being attacked were those of Human Rights agitators living in China. I like that Youtube/Google Korea preferred to block uploads and comments from Youtube Korea, rather than require real names.

This is reminiscent of a little while ago, when hackers based in China took over a bunch of zombie computers, including that of the Dalai Lama, hacking into the computers and stealing access to their files, and even being able to take control of their webcams to snap photos ... later the Chinese government seemed to tip its hand, communicating to people who were scheduled to meet the Dalai Lama that such meetings would be ill-advised. (see here)

Ladies and gentlemen: the battlefield of the future, where ones and zeros will be more important than munitions and laser targeting systems.

The internet's an interesting place these days.


Sim said...

Korea's reliance on Internet Explorer is related to Active X and security; back in the day, the Korean government demanded 128bit security, and a proprietary system relying on Active X controls only found in IE was developed. Sites in Korea today rely on a host of plugins and archaic functionality only found on IE.

The solution is a switch to another standard, an open standard or at least one that's supported on different browser and more than one platform (i.e. Mac, Linux etc). If Korea continues its reliance on IE (and AFAIK, an old version), it will fall further behind when it comes to competing globally for its IT industry. While this "monoculture" (I hate the word) effectively shields Korean companies from foreign competition in the online space, it also means they will have tremendous problems expanding beyond its borders.

melissa said...

yeah I KNOW it's not plagiarism if you quote your source. It just sounds more extreme if you say plagiarism rather than copied and pasted. It has a cooler sound.

Dude. Miss you.

Luke said...

Sim is correct. I have a Macbook and everytime I am using Korean websites I pretty much have to reboot into Windows just to load IE. Take my KEB banking website for example. The main page won't even load without using IE and installing a bundle of "security" programs. So as long as Korean website continue to using IE/Windows only plugins and programs it will remain a Windows + IE nation.

Noting to Sim, I've used all my Korean websites with IE8 and they work perfectly fine. So they aren't restricting you to older versions.

chiam said...

Well the 128bit security wasn't only developed for Microsoft, it was also developed for Netscape...but netscape is old hat so companies don't offer the encryption for it.

Things are changing. Hana bank now offers web/phone banking that does not rely on ActiveX so that people with an iphone can do business with them. Other banks are soon to follow.

The root problem lies in the MoU's signed by the Korean government and Microsoft to teach microsoft programming in schools...and in order to get government funding, schools started focusing all their attention on microsoft output.

Things are changing. Slowly but surely, things are changing.

John from Daejeon said...

"Ladies and gentlemen: the battlefield of the future, where ones and zeros will be more important than munitions and laser targeting systems."

Not exactly.

A couple of electromagnetic pulse bombs detonated high in the atmosphere and all our fancy electonic gadgets/cars will all become very expensive paperweights and the disruption caused by it will be utter chaos.

David tz said...

The Government of France just issued the same warning against the use of IE