Only foreigners receive Wifi acess in North Korea

North Korea is bad in reputation because of the level of control the government makes use over its citizens. DPRK is the most avid supporter of the censorship. The restrictions that citizens have to obey are imaginable and the majority of the country is not allowed to use the internet.

Only foreigners have the allowance to use the Pyongyang`s WiFi access points.

Basically, the citizens from North Korea are obliged to use Kwangmyong, which represents a closed network not linked with the Internet we all love. Summing up, uncontrolled communication with the outer world is strictly forbidden. It is said that the North Korean government-branded search engine is not practical for those that look for forbidden things, so it is logic that the government allows visitors to break the rule. Citizens are not allowed in any circumstance to bend the rules!

On a DPRK oriented site labeled NK News, a social worker states that there are multiple WiFi hotspots across Pyongyang available for access only for foreigners. It is said that the access is provided through SIM cards that are sold only to visitors by KoryoLink. So, the video flow and usual web browsing work fine with those connections. What is not so clear is the amount of censorship and monitoring that comes with this. In order to be sure, foreigners should avoid any controversial subjects or anything that can be misinterpreted.

The main question is how a SIM card authenticates you to a WiFi access point. This is not quite clear, but we can fish through some possibilities. Some say they are using Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) in order to make sure you are not a North Korean citizen. Or, they probably just use a text messaged password like in the case of websites like PayPal that provide two-factor authentication.

Although, leaving behind the system of implementation and how it works, it is amazing that it actually exists! In other words, that government is bombed with a large amount of requests from foreigners regarding internet access, which makes it willing enough to implement this. Some say this is an example on how the restrictions in North Korea loosen day by day. Others state that tourism and international relations are too important for DPRK so they jump on with solutions to keep their visitors happy. It also represents a desperate cry for unlimited access to the internet for all citizen that have to abide the tight rules implemented.