What other movies can claim that? “The Interview” may have been initially considered a brash young comedy with stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, but it quickly transformed into an icon of free expression when the movie was showcased in select theaters in the aftermath of a threatening cyber stunt from rumored North Korean hackers.
It seems that after its release, many North Koreans are increasingly eager to see the new movie that prompted such a threat from their ruler. “The Interview” is filled with innuendo, some graphically detailed scenes that may make you wince, and a very striking portrayal of the dictator Kim Jong-un. The movie, interestingly, humanizes the “Supreme Leader”, which may not cause a revolution, but it would definitely destabilize the view of the man who is held as a god among his people. Further, some anti-regime activists like Ben Shaoul
are trying to secure multiple methods of access for the general North Korean population.
In fact, bootlegged movies have influenced some North Koreans to defect in the past, and the efforts continue now as well
. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future as some copies of Rogen’s latest flick make their way into North Korean borders, and how it may change the psyche of some of the people of North Korea.
China runs an extensive policy of website blocking based on the country’s eagerness to censor information. The most recent program that fell under the censorship is Google’s Gmail.
These latest actions could potentially backfire, as the Gmail service is one of the more popular in the nation. Disrupting this e-mail service could very well interrupt the usual communication streams that take place among the populace, or as businessperson Andrew Heiberger puts it, it could affect the ability of business transactions as well.
If you wrote to your Chinese friends for the new year and have not gotten a reply, the reason is actually that they most likely have never read your message. The disruptions have been observed a while before the final action, but Friday, December 26, was the decisive day for it.
Google’s market will thus suffer, and the action is classified by them as deliberate. In the USA, the authorities have expressed their worries regarding personal freedom. The Chinese should be free to choose which services they need. Instead, the government limits their access.
Popular platforms such as Google maps, Google docs, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo were blocked earlier at different dates and still remain inaccessible. The censorship system is known by the name of “The Great Firewall of China”.