Jan. 28, 2012 -- For everyone who protests the new internet restrictions that could have come with SOPA and might still come with ACTA, this one comes from the perspective department: North Korea has threatened to punish anyone using a cell phone as a war criminal.
Reports from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea indicate that the threat of famine is forcing more and more people to flee the country into South Korea, where an estimated 23,000 defectors have already located.
North Korea has long relied on a total restriction of information to maintain control over its isolated citizenry, and in this crucial time of transition between Kim Jong Il and his successor, Kim Jong Un, it appears that the state is clamping down even tighter than usual for fear that information about uprisings like the Arab Spring could trigger unrest, or that outside communication could assist anybody attempting to flee the country.
The North recently accepted private food aid from the South Korean "Korea Peace Foundation" even as they maintain military exercises and standing threats against their neighbor. South Korea has made it clear that they won't provide substantial, government-led food aid until the North makes steps to stop their nuclear program.
The free and open internet are good things to fight for, but it's important to remember when throwing around phrases like "police state" that there are actually countries out there where information is a closely guarded weapon used against the people.
Source: The Telegraph