Friday, November 19, 2010


Historically, Japan and South Korea have been rival countries. A figure skater myself, I have been witness to figure skaters Mao Asada of Japan and Yuna Kim of South Korea carrying this tradition, this time on the ice. Both world champions and unparalleled sports superstars in their respective countries, it was no surprise that the two would duke it out in the Vancouver Olympic Games early this year. As in all games, somebody wins and somebody loses. South Korea’s Kim took home gold while Japan’s Asada settled for silver. And as in all games, the result is not easy to accept.

Given the Youtube site already swamped with “hate” videos involving these two skaters, something I would consider already a form of “cyber war” and no longer protected free speech and expression, I knew something more serious was going to happen from this very bitter rivalry. Shortly after the Ladies’ competition, Japanese and Korean newspapers reported the attack on a Japanese website by Korean netizens who brought down the entire site which accused the Korean superstar of bribing the judges in order to win. And the date is significant too. The attack happened in March 1, a national holiday in Korea celebrating its 1919 rebellion against Japan, its colonial overlord. In order to understand why this happened, compare Yuna “Queen Yuna” Kim to our very own sports icon, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. If a website is anti-Pacman, it is not remotely possible that Pinoy netizens would storm to that site filled with rage.

This only shows that Cyber war really happens—that when pushed by situations, people can resort to this type of destructive behavior. Imagine somebody bringing down an entire site or information communications technologies, and magnify said destruction on a much larger scale like bringing down the ICT system of an entire nation like what happened in Estonia in 2007. A virtual arson or terrorism, cyber war is a global threat that needs to be addressed. It’s going to be very difficult though, given ICT’s globalized venue.

Christopher John Lao Post Number 1

No comments: