Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Googling in the shadows

North Korea has been known as the most notorious regime when it comes to media censorship, especially Internet. Kim Jong-Il clearly knows the power of free information from the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Recently, however, somebody has been accessing Google and searching news articles about North-South Korea relations and North Korea-US relations. It's an act harshly forbidden, as it is an attempt to look beyond the heavily guarded border to see what is happening around the world. 

Beginning of this year, Radio Free Asia(RFA) detected somebody in North Korea accessing their website via Google. This person used 6 IP addresses for access. The frequency of this access increased over time, and there were 24 visits in June. RFA decided to trace this IP.

According to RFA, this IP did not belong to the North Korean government, or their information agencies. This person did not use the OS used by North Korea, the Red Star. The OS used was actually a forbidden one - Windows XP (funny, I was thinking Win ME). In a nutshell, this person was using a forbidden operating system to peek at forbidden information. Most of the access was done after 9 PM. Some of the IP addresses were not the usual '', but '', which is for schools and educational institutions.

Previously, only the high government agencies were known to have internet access in North Korea. However, some education institutions like Kim Il-Song University have allowed internet access for students. There is also a possibility that a foreigner staying in the US did this. Nothing is sure, as everything is a speculation. But someone did access internet to read news about the outside world, and it wonders me how long North Korea can control the flow of free information regardless of what method they use.

Source : 밤이면 밤마다…北서 구글 접속 사이버맨은 누구?

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