Not funny: 60% still using IE6 in South Korea

Long story short:

  • In the late nineties, the South Korean government wanted a strong encryption mechanism for Internet transactions. 128-bit SSL was not ready yet.
  • So they created their own mechanism, called it SEED, and implemented as a Netscape plugin and as an ActiveX control for Internet Explorer.
  • As Internet Explorer got 95% of the market, SK government felt it wasn’t worth updating the plugin, so businesses deployed their solutions relying on the ActiveX implementation of SEED. As a result, now 128-bit encrypted transactions like shopping and banking, can only be done on Internet Explorer. Preferably IE6, because newer IE versions tend to be more restrictive and complicated (read secure) for both business and users.
  • So everybody needs Windows to run IE, even Mac OS X and Linux users!

This is a sad example of what happens when the web is built on closed proprietary technology. In this extreme case, a whole country is now locked into a technology that is already a decade old.

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