North Korean elites watch porn too, just like the West
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North Korean elites watch porn too, just like the West

THE elite of the North Korean regime’s patterns of Internet usage are not particularly different from people elsewhere in the world, according to a new report.

US-based technology intelligence company Recorded Future has found  a small group of the communist elite wakes up each day to check their email and social media, read Chinese newspapers like Xinhua and People’s Daily, and stream videos online.

“Attempts to isolate North Korean elite and leadership from the international community are failing,” said a blogpost from the company.

“In fact, their Internet activity is in many ways not that different from most Westerners.”

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A North Korean student surfs the Internet at a computer terminal inside a computer lab at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea. Source: AP

Only a very select few leaders and ruling elite are permitted access to the Internet in the highly repressive hermit state. Most citizens only can only log on to the domestic intranet, Kwangmyong.

“The data reveals North Korea’s leadership and ruling elite are plugged into modern Internet society and are likely aware of the impact their decisions regarding missile tests, suppression of their population, criminal activities and more have on the international community,” Recorded Future said.

“These decisions are not made in isolation nor are they ill-informed as many would believe.”

SEE ALSO: North Korea possibly linked to global cyber attack – researchers

The report said Facebook was the most used social networking site for North Koreans, despite being blocked by the country’s strict censors last April. Elites also spend considerable time gaming and watching videos – accounting for 65 percent of all Internet activity in North Korea.

In July, Google Analytics data from the world’s largest pornographic website PornHub showed several thousand users logged on to the website from North Korea during 2016 and 2017.

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Most searched for terms on the pornographic website PornHub in North Korea in 2016-17. Source: PornHub

The most searched for terms from North Korea include many different nationalities including “Chinese”, “Mongolian”, “Japanese”, “Korean”, “Swedish” and “Indonesian”.

Moreover, Recorded Future’s report claims North Koreans are likely “engaging in malicious cyber and criminal activities” in countries such as India, Malaysia, Nepal and Indonesia.

In May, cybersecurity researchers said they had technical evidence North Korean hackers were linked to the global WannaCry ransomware cyber attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers in 150 countries.