Seminar: Cell Phones and Information Technology in North Korea


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Brown Bag Seminar by Scott Bruce

When: Jun 19 2012 - 12:00pm until Jun 19 2012 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012, East-West Center

The advent of cell phones in North Korea is unprecedented for a country that traditionally considered the isolation of its population a necessity for the survival of the regime. Scott Bruce will discuss the development of cell-phones and information technology in North Korea, as well as their implications for the future of the state.
North Korea is a closed state that restricts the movement of its population within the country and does not permit communication with the outside world. With such a tightly controlled and isolated population, the rise of cell phones and expanded access to an Intranet within the country is a new and unprecedented development. With a million mobile phones in private hands, the number of conversations in North Korea has expanded beyond the capacity of the State Security Department to monitor. The Intranet, while tightly controlled and populated with only select content, allows North Koreans to seek out information that they would otherwise not have access to. Policy options for NGOs and governments include attempting to circumvent the system to get information into and out of North Korea, engaging the IT sector support the digital transformation of the state, or feeding information into the state controlled network to build best practices in economic development.
Scott Bruce was the Director of US Operations for the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. He has more than a decade of experience developing capacity building projects in East Asia and analyzing science and security issues related to North Korea. Scott was trained as a historian at Queen’s University in Belfast and the University of California, Berkeley. He has Masters Degrees in Asia Pacific Studies and International Business from the University of San Francisco.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Cynthia Wasa Nakachi
Phone: (808) 944-7439
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