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Jonghyun: Note shows K-pop star’s struggles with depression

Jonghyun: Note shows K-pop star’s struggles with depression

  • 19 December 2017

JonghyunImage copyright
EPA

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“The life of fame was never meant for me,” the note said

A note said to have been written by K-pop superstar Jonghyun has been posted on social media by his close friend, revealing a struggle with depression.

“The depression that was slowly devouring me at last consumed me,” said the note, posted by fellow singer Nine.

Jonghyun, 27, was found dead on Monday in a suspected suicide.

He was the lead singer of one of South Korea’s biggest pop groups Shinee. His death has triggered an outpouring of grief from fans around the world.

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AFP/Getty Images

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Groups of distraught and tearful fans gathered at the Seoul hospital

On Tuesday, Nine, a member of another pop group Dear Cloud, shared on Instagram the note she said Jonghyun had sent to her, with instructions to make it public if he “disappeared from the world”.

Dear Cloud’s management Mymusic Entertainment confirmed to news agency Yonhap the note was posted after consultation with Jonghyun’s family.

It spoke about his struggle with living in the public eye, saying “I was broken from the inside” and “the life of fame was never meant for me”.

“What else can I say more. Just tell me I’ve done well. That this is enough. That I’ve worked hard. Even if you can’t smile don’t fault me on my way.”

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However, no details were given as to when the note was written or sent to Nine.

On Twitter, his fans have interpreted the message as the singer’s last request to them.

Jonghyun, whose full name was Kim Jong-hyun, was found unconscious in a Seoul apartment. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

According to news agency AFP, he had sent several text messages to his sister, including one saying “this is my last farewell”.

Police said they would not be conducting a post-mortem examination, following a request from Jonghyun’s family.

Officers said it “looks certain” that he had killed himself, but did not officially confirm his cause of death as they were still conducting investigations.

Image copyright
Getty Images

The singer was considered by many of his fans to be a very sensitive young man who did not embrace the hedonism that often comes with stardom.

As well as being a singer and dancer, he played a large part in songwriting and production for Shinee. He also launched a parallel successful solo career in 2015.

‘Grounded person’

Fan Wang, a BBC Chinese journalist who worked as an interpreter for Jonghyun during a fan meeting in 2014, recalled that: “Apart from the time he performed, he didn’t talk much most of the time… the thing he cared the most about was his singing and performance.”

Another interpreter who worked with the band told the BBC that Jonghyun “didn’t attract as much attention as other band members when he was offstage. Quiet and reticent, he was always walking behind the others.

“Yet during rehearsals, he came across as a lead singer. He took his singing and dancing rehearsals really seriously – you could tell he was a serious, grounded person.”

“He was also very polite. Once, he’d just finished brushing his teeth when he saw me standing by the door – he hadn’t even dried his mouth yet, but hurried to bow and greet me right away,” the interpreter, who wanted to be identified only as Ms Shu, added.

The management of Shinee, SM Entertainment, released a statement saying he was “the best artist” and that they were “heartbroken” about his death.

The band also posted an emotional tribute to the pop idol on its official Twitter account, saying in Korean: “Jonghyun, who loved music more than anyone…. Forever, he will be remembered.”

Fans were paying their respects at a funeral hall at the hospital in Seoul throughout Tuesday.

Shinee’s other members were there to receive mourners, who included K-pop stars such as singer BoA and members of girl group Girls Generation, reported newspaper The Korea Herald.

A private funeral will be held on Thursday.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

An altar with Jonghyun’s portrait was set up at the hospital

Shinee were founded in 2008 as a five member group under SM Entertainment, and quickly rose to become of the biggest K-pop boy groups.

Conceived in South Korea in the 1990s as a Western-Asian hybrid, K-pop is now a multi-million dollar industry.

It is at the forefront of the so-called Korean Wave – the spread of Korean music, drama and film across Asia and worldwide.

Over the past years, Shinee recorded several albums in Japanese and in 2017 sold out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome and part of their Japan tour. Earlier this year, they also played their first North American tour.

If you are feeling emotionally distressed, here are details of organisations in the UK which offer advice and support.

What is depression?

Depression is more than just feeling a bit down for a few days. It is an illness which, at its most severe, can leave people feeling that life is no longer worth living. It can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, sleeplessness and constant tiredness which may last for months and months.

People with depression can also feel anxious, irritable and agitated on a daily basis but it affects everyone differently and only in rare cases is it a reason for violence against others.

If people admit their symptoms and talk to someone about their feelings, depression can usually be treated but the biggest barrier to getting help is often stigma and the fear of disclosing mental health problems.

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Atlanta

A simple solution to end the encryption debate

Criminals and terrorists, like millions of others, rely on smartphone encryption to protect the information on their mobile devices. But unlike most of us, the data on their phones could endanger lives and pose a great threat to national security.

The challenge for law enforcement, and for us as a society, is how to reconcile the advantages of gaining access to the plans of dangerous individuals with the cost of opening a door to the lives of everyone else. It is the modern manifestation of the age-old conflict between privacy versus security, playing out in our pockets and palms.

One-size-fits all technological solutions, like a manufacturer-built universal backdoor tool for smartphones, likely create more dangers than they prevent. While no solution will be perfect, the best ways to square data access with security concerns require a more nuanced approach that rely on non-technological procedures.

The FBI has increasingly pressed the case that criminals and terrorists use smartphone security measures to avoid detection and investigation, arguing for a technological, cryptographic solution to stop these bad actors from “going dark.” In fact, there are recent reports that the Executive Branch is engaged in discussions to compel manufacturers to build technological tools so law enforcement can read otherwise-encrypted data on smartphones.

But the FBI is also tasked with protecting our nation against cyber threats. Encryption has a critical role in protecting our digital systems against compromises by hackers and thieves. And of course, a centralized data access tool would be a prime target for hackers and criminals. As recent events prove – from the 2016 elections to the recent ransomware attack against government computers in Atlanta – the problem will likely only become worse. Anything that weakens our cyber defenses will only make it more challenging for authorities to balance these “dual mandates” of cybersecurity and law enforcement access.

There is also the problem of internal threats: when they have access to customer data, service providers themselves can misuse or sell it without permission. Once someone’s data is out of their control, they have very limited means to protect it against exploitation. The current, growing scandal around the data harvesting practices on social networking platforms illustrates this risk. Indeed, our company Symphony Communications, a strongly encrypted messaging platform, was formed in the wake of a data misuse scandal by a service provider in the financial services sector.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

So how do we help law enforcement without making data privacy even thornier than it already is? A potential solution is through a non-technological method, sensitive to the needs of all parties involved, that can sometimes solve the tension between government access and data protection while preventing abuse by service providers.

Agreements between some of our clients and the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYSDFS”), proved popular enough that FBI Director Wray recently pointed to them as a model of “responsible encryption” that solves the problem of “going dark” without compromising robust encryption critical to our nation’s business infrastructure.

The solution requires storage of encryption keys — the codes needed to decrypt data — with third party custodians. Those custodians would not keep these client’s encryption keys. Rather, they give the access tool to clients, and then clients can choose how to use it and to whom they wish to give access. A core component of strong digital security is that a service provider should not have access to client’s unencrypted data nor control over a client’s encryption keys.

The distinction is crucial. This solution is not technological, like backdoor access built by manufacturers or service providers, but a human solution built around customer control.  Such arrangements provide robust protection from criminals hacking the service, but they also prevent customer data harvesting by service providers.

Where clients choose their own custodians, they may subject those custodians to their own, rigorous security requirements. The clients can even split their encryption keys into multiple pieces distributed over different third parties, so that no one custodian can access a client’s data without the cooperation of the others.

This solution protects against hacking and espionage while safeguarding against the misuse of customer content by the service provider. But it is not a model that supports service provider or manufacturer built back doors; our approach keeps the encryption key control in clients’ hands, not ours or the government’s.

A custodial mechanism that utilizes customer-selected third parties is not the answer to every part of the cybersecurity and privacy dilemma. Indeed, it is hard to imagine that this dilemma will submit to a single solution, especially a purely technological one. Our experience shows that reasonable, effective solutions can exist. Technological features are core to such solutions, but just as critical are non-technological considerations. Advancing purely technical answers – no matter how inventive – without working through the checks, balances and risks of implementation would be a mistake.

News Source = techcrunch.com

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