North Korea bans foreigners’ access to social networking websites

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North Korea has reportedly banned use of social networking websites including Facebook and Twitter by Diplomats and other foreign visitors.

According to reports the North Korean government has imposed a ban on all access to Facebook and Twitter by diplomats and international humanitarian organizations in the capital Pyongyang. The authorities implemented the ban into effect earlier this week without explaining the reason behind the sudden repression.

North Korea had slapped a ban on use of Wi-Fi or satellite Internet connections by all embassies and NGOs operating in the country without government approval earlier last month.

The state authorities claimed that Internet access by foreigners was a great threat to national security and that it would impose heavy fines on those who do not comply with the order.

As a result of the ban, foreigners, same as ordinary North Korean citizens, will have access to only North’s highly-controlled Intranet called Kwangmyeong, or “Bright” which is a national network that provides government-approved information, such as content from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The intranet has websites that include government propaganda, information about science, technology and culture, and cooking recipes.

It is still unclear whether the North Korean ban on use of social networks by foreigners will be a temporary or permanent one.

The report is yet to be verified. Neither Facebook nor Twitter responded to requests for comment on the matter.

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