KCNA Watch, a website that collects articles, pictures and video from the Korean Central News Agency, isn’t making friends on either side of the Korean border.
A communications regulator in South Korea has blocked access to the service while the North Korean government has restricted access to its services from New Zealand, apparently due to the way KCNA Watch collects its stories.
The South Korea block, which happened on Friday, was reported over the weekend by NK News. KCNA Watch currently operates as a part of NK News.
Visitors to the site More >
Despite living in one of the most wired societies in the world, South Korean Internet users enjoy a “partly free” Internet due to government censorship of content, according to the results of a global survey on Internet freedom.
Censorship of content, which includes many websites that carry North Korean content, has shot up in recent years.
The government’s own figures show 25,706 items were blocked in the first six months of 2013, compared to 39,296 sites in all of 2012. Five years ago in 2008, just 4,731 sites were blocked.
Google has posted video of Eric Schmidt’s remarks at the recent “Big Tent” event in Washington, D.C.
The Google-organized events act as idea summits and have been running for about three years and the D.C. event took place on April 26.
During his speech, the chairman of Google talked about North Korea and the impact that the connected world, and the Internet in particular, would have on authoritarian countries.
“In North Korea we visited with the government, of course that’s all there is in North More >
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s message on the importance of embracing the Internet was “well received” in Pyongyang, according to Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico.
Richardson, writing in The Washington Post on Friday, invited Schmidt to accompany him on a private trip to North Korea in January. During the trip, the delegation met with senior North Korean officials.
During our visit, Eric Schmidt, the co-leader of our delegation and the executive chairman of Google, spoke about the advantages of adopting the Internet and increased mobile technology. His message was well-received by officials, scientists and students. — “Time for a Reboot with North More >
File this one under business as usual. North Korea was again ranked second-to-last in Reporters Without Borders’ annual press freedom index while South Korea continued to drop down the ranking.
The Paris-based press censorship watchdog ranked North Korea as 178th in its survey, just one rank above Eritrea.
“Kim Jong-un’s arrival at the head of the Hermit Kingdom has not in any way changed the regime’s absolute control of news and information,” the organization said in a statement.
North Korea and Eritrea have occupied the bottom two positions in the survey since 2007. Prior to that year, North Korea was ranked bottom from More >
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has posted some thoughts on his recent trip to Pyongyang. The comments appeared on his Google Plus page on Saturday, the same day his daughter also posted her impressions of the trip.
The executive’s comments won’t provide any big revelations, at least they shouldn’t to readers of this blog. He generally reiterates that it was a private visit aimed at exploring some of the technology in North Korea and exchanging views with local officials.
On his arrival in Beijing after leaving Pyongyang, Schmidt told reporters he had advised the North Koreans to open up to the Internet. If More >
Sophie Schmidt, the daughter of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, has written a comprehensive blog post about her recent trip to Pyongyang and included in her revelations: North Korean officials seemed to acknowledge they can’t keep the Internet out.
The posting is perhaps the most complete account yet of the visit by any member of the group, which went around Pyongyang largely unobserved except by local Associated Press reporters.
In the post, entitled “Sophie in North Korea,” Sophie Schmidt writes about the impressions she got of the city, country and sights she saw on the More >
Park Jung-geun, a Seoul-based photographer and free-speech activist, has received a 10-month suspended prison sentence for retweeting North Korean tweets.
The case, one of several that has drawn international attention to South Korean Internet censorship, has been going on for the better part of a year and was being closely watched for its interpretation of how South Korea’s National Security Act extends to Twitter.
The law targets those who “praise, encourage, disseminate or cooperate” with anti-social groups, in this case the North Korean government. Access to many North Korean websites and other Internet resources are blocked to South Korean Internet connections under the law.
Blocking Twitter More >
North Korea remains high on the list of enemies of the Internet, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Monday in an annual report on Internet censorship.
The country was listed alongside Bahrain, Belarus Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam as a home to the world’s most repressive online regimes.
The news won’t come as a surprise to anyone that follows North Korea. The country has the world’s harshest restrictions on Internet use and an almost total ban on access. Only a handful of the country’s 24 million people are allowed access, and then it’s only to operate propaganda websites or More >
North Korea has again been ranked the second-worst country in the world for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders. The Paris-based organization has consistently ranked the DPRK at the bottom of the world in terms of press freedom for the last decade.
“It is no surprise that the same trio of countries, Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea, absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties, again occupy the last three places in the index,” it said in the survey.
The news should come as no surprise to North Korea watchers. The government holds absolute control over the media, which delivers a centrally composed message through TV, radio and newspaper More >