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Kwangmyong

Kwangmyong (meaning bright light) is a mysterious intranet that North Koreans basically have instead of the Internet. For its high political isolation North Korea doesn't allow its citizens open access to the Internet, they rather create their own internal network the government can fully control -- this is unsurprising, allegedly it is e.g. illegal to own a fax and North Korea also have their own operating system called Red Star OS, for security reasons. Not so much is known about Kwangmyong for a number of reasons: it is only accessible from within North Korea, foreigners are typically not allowed to access it, and, of course, it isn't in English but in Korean. Of course the content on the network is highly filtered and/or created by the state propaganda. Foreigners sometimes get a chance to spot or even secretly photograph things that allow us to make out a bit of information about the network.

North Koreans themselves almost never have their own computers, they typically browse the network in libraries.

There seem to be a few thousand accessible sites. Raw IP addresses (in the private 10.0.0.0/8 range) are sometimes used to access sites (posters in libraries list IPs of some sites) but DNS is also up -- here sites use .kp top level domain. Some sites, e.g. of universities, are also accessible on the Internet (e.g. http://www.ryongnamsan.edu.kp/), others like http://www.ipo.aca.kp (patent/invention site) or http://www.ssl.edu.kp (sports site) are not. There seems to be a remote webcam education system in place -- it appeared on North Korean news. There exists something akin a search engine (Naenara), email, usenet, even something like facebook. Apparently there are some video games as well.

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