North Korea, ever so cautiously, is going online

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Ever so cautiously, North Korea is going online.

Doctors can consult via live, online video conferencing, and lectures at prestigious Kim Il Sung University are streamed to faraway factories and agricultural communes. People use online dictionaries and text each other on their smart phones. In the wallets of the privileged are “Jonsong” or “Narae” cards for e-shopping and online banking. Cash registers at major department stores are plugged into the web.

It’s just not the World Wide Web. This is all done on a tightly sealed intranet of the sort a medium-sized company might use for its employees.

The free flow of information is anathema to authoritarian regimes, and with the possible exception of the African dictatorship of Eritrea, North Korea is still the least Internet-friendly country on Earth. Access to the global Internet for most is unimaginable. Hardly anyone has a personal computer or an email address that isn’t shared, and the price for trying to get around the government’s rules can be severe.

Full Story: AP News

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