North Korea blocks Facebook, Twitter to restrict foreigner posts
Fri 1 Apr 2016
North Korea has officially blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other popular social media sites, in an effort to prevent foreigners based within the country posting about interior activity.
While very few North Koreans have access to the internet, they are permitted to browse across a government-restricted intranet. However, visitors and foreign residents had previously been able to surf the internet relatively freely which has led to a growing trend of sharing domestic news across social media sites.
The new regulation means that it will be more difficult for foreigners living in North Korea to post updates on the country to the global online community.
Effective immediately, the bans will automatically block access to social networking websites including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Voice of America and a number of South Korean media sites. According to the militant regime these sites promote anti-Republic dialogue. Gambling and adult websites have also been blocked.
Local reports also suggest that Pyongyang disrupted South Korea’s Global Positioning System (GPS). Speaking earlier today, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson detailed that North Korea is expected to continue GPS jamming to show off its capabilities and raise tensions. Authorities have confirmed that there has been no direct damage to the military systems, but if future jamming results in damages to operations Seoul “will make sure that [the North] rightly pays for what it did.”
Yesterday, the South Korean President Park Geun-hye had alerted the international community of the urgency of acting against North Korean advances.
“As much as the nuclear terrorism threats evolve, the countermeasures should be preemptive and creative upon strengthened cooperation of the international community,” he said. “[We] should actively take action against threats involving new technology, such as cyber attacks against nuclear power plant control systems, or dissemination of radioactive substances through drones.”