• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2016-03-07 16:52
By Kim Yoo-chul

Korea’s first anti-terrorism bill, endorsed by the National Assembly after opposition lawmakers delivered a marathon relay of filibuster speeches, has drawn much criticism, including from within the information and technology (IT) industry.

The main point of the bill is that it will grant power to the National Intelligence Service (NIS), enabling NIS agents to collect sensitive personal data, text and conversation data stored on handheld from suspected terrorists.

Also, the spy agency will have greater access to track bank account transactions and the immigration records of suspects.

It’s no question that the nation’s defenses should be secure from all forms of terrorist attack.

But what matters is that the bill may put the country’s IT ecosystem in danger because the country’s top technology companies from Samsung Electronics to LG Electronics have no option but to redefine the circuit structures in their smartphones to enable encryption codes to be broken at the request of the NIS.

The moves will put everyone at risk because all Samsung and LG devices are powered by Google’s Android mobile platform, which is open to all third-parties.

Android is relatively more vulnerable to hacking than the Apple iOS, which is more secure because the iPhone designer created the system.

“While the NIS stressed that ordinary Koreans don’t have to worry much about leaking of their personal data, the security standards in Android-powered devices aen’t that strong,” said an official by telephone.

While referring to the popularity of secure messenger service Telegram over Kakao Talk, the official said the bill will “significantly hurt” the brand loyalty of Samsung or LG manufactured devices used by global consumers.

“Sentimentally, consumers using Samsung and LG phones will think those devices are vulnerable in terms of security and privacy. You should think about this,” said the official, adding that security is an endless issue.

The IT industry is one of the backbones of the national economy along with steel, automotive and shipbuilding industries. Competition is getting fiercer and the industries are being sandwiched under growing attacks by Chinese companies.

Specifically the smartphone business is no longer the cash-cow that it was years ago as the phones are being commoditized.

“When you face uncertainties, then brand loyalty is the key point to secure your bottom line. On the business front, the bill needs to be readjusted,” said the official.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, said he believes the bill is “overly simplistic.”

“Measures that are being discussed will not work because, first of all, even if existing secure apps were blocked to the Korean market, terrorists would still be able to have access as they use VPN to disguise their location. So, I think that the government's efforts should be more focused on finding solutions to these serious problems outside technology,” he said in a recent exclusive interview with The Korea Times.

“And speaking particularly of Korea, given its neighbor to the North, Koreans should be cautious not to introduce any such measures reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984,” he said.


  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS