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Mobile Internet Access Now Allowed in NKorea . . . for Foreigners

Bravo, Eric Schmidt.

11:33 AM, Feb 22, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
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Eric Schmidt and Bill Richardson’s Pyongyang adventure continues to pay dividends.

Kim Jong Eun

Kim Jong Eun

First, former U.N. ambassador Richardson’s shrewd nuclear diplomacy resulted in . . . North Korea testing an atomic weapon. Now, Google chief Schmidt’s encouragement of a “free and open Internet” in North Korea has resulted in Pyongyang finally allowing mobile Internet access . . . for foreigners.  

North Korean cell phone users (about a million in a country of 24 million) will still be banned from accessing the Internet. Moreover, there’s a case to be made that this shift in policy is actually a way for the North Korean regime to increase its surveillance of foreign visitors by monitoring their Internet use (and more precisely tracking their whereabouts). But Schmidt can take heart: thanks to his indefatigable work, those tourists morally obtuse enough to vacation in a country where hundreds of thousands are imprisoned in gulags will be now be able to access their Twitter feeds. 

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