North Korean Internet Users Revealed To Torrent American Entertainment And Porn

Internet users in North Korea have gained access to American entertainment, such as Top Gear and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and pornography through the popular file-sharing system known as torrenting.

According to data released by Scan Eye and reports from North Korea News, a number of BitTorrent downloads have been traced back to Ryugyong-dong, a neighborhood in northeast Pyongyang. While experts say that the traffic could originally be from foreigners masking their IP addresses, they believe that the downloads are genuine. A total of 178 files have been downloaded.

“These IP addresses are registered to North Korea and there is no known Virtual Network Provider operating in that range,” TorrentFreak blogger Ernesto Van Der Sar said.

The pirated content include popular TV shows such as Top Gear, James May’s Man Lab, Doctor Who, and The Apprentice, as well as Japanese and American pornography like Sex and Zen Extreme Ecstasy, Prelude to an Orgy, and Student Sex Parties. Far Cry 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are two games that were also widely torrented.

“I really wonder whether people would be bothered to torrent and if the bandwidth would support it,” Martyn Williams of North Korea Tech told The Daily Telegraph, while ExtremeTech editor Sebastian Anthony said it could be “just one or two people downloading lots of stuff.”

The North Korean government has cracked down on internet users who go outside censorship and pirate “bourgeois” cultural content. Punishment includes three months to two years of hard labor. In severe cases, five years of re-education through labor maybe be necessary. However, most citizens in North Korea don’t even have access to a computer, making torrenting a localized problem. Many North Korean internet users rely on government-approved electronic libraries for access to the world wide web.

“I think around 100,000 people can use Internet. There’s a North Korean version of portal service called ‘Naenara’ (My Country) and people can download content posted there,” North Korean computer engineer Kim Heung-Kwang said. “People could do emails and chats until 2008, then the government shut down these services.”

This isn’t the first time North Korea has been in recent news. According to another report by The Inquisitr News, “North Korea made a habit of launching personal attacks on leaders of other countries,” including the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.