Fast but censored in South Korea

Lately many local news and media in Umeå have caught on to our broadband success story. In Umeå you can get high-speed, uncensored internet (100 Mb/s full duplex) in a majority of the households.

Infotech Umeå writes about Umeå as one of the world’s fastest internet cities. Editorial Ola Nordebo writes for Västerbottens Kuriren about how the future will look back on Umeå and mentions that broadband barely makes a physical mark. This may thus be overlooked in the future, even though Umeå is currently the fastest city in Europe.

Cities in Asian, mainly in Japan and South Korea, dominates the broadband league worldwide. Masan in South Korea is on the top spot and out of the hundred best connected cities, more than half are in Japan. Umeå has the fastest broadband in the western world and comes in 18th worldwide, shows the report from networking company Akamai.

That’s what Infotech Umeå writes, which is interesting because Akamai’s report (pdf anyone?) does not take into account how the connection may be used. Taking South Korea as an example, Reporters without borders lists South Korea as an Enemy of the Internet:

South Korea’s internet censorship policy is highly political and particularly strong toward suppressing anonymity in the Korean internet. In 2007, numerous bloggers were censored and their posts deleted by police for expressing criticism of, or even support for, presidential candidates. This even lead to some bloggers being arrested by the police.

Wikipedia on Internet Censorship in South Korea

Yikes! This is exactly the reason why pro-internet activists daily fight Swedish government oppressiveness towards internet freedom. We actively have to dive through new proposals, suggestions of censorship and severe privacy intrusion.

The concept of communication freedom, net neutrality, availability and usability of the internet are questions we must actively nurture. Today’s politics – in Sweden as well as the rest of the world – are actively threatening the net’s neutrality. Remember that adding any censorship to a data stream causes that entire stream to be corrupted.

The Pirate Party in Umeå, Sweden – top 18th broadband city in the world – wants to share Umeå’s experience with the top 17 cities in keeping their connections unrestricted – without users being unlawful. Or help any other region get to the top for that matter.

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