Google's Eric Schmidt Travels to North Korea to Unravel Internet Ban
January 10, 2013 2:16 PM
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Google's Eric Schmidt
The search giant would likely love to tap into this untouched sector with its Android mobile operating system, Gmail and Google search/Chrome browser technologies
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently visited
in an effort to end the internet ban.
Schmidt made the trip with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who said that North Korea is "anxious" to improve its relationship with the United States. The two spent four days in North Korea, where they visited the capital city of Pyongyang.
“As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world,” said Schmidt. “The government has to do something -- they have to make it possible for people to use the internet, which the government in North Korea has not yet done. It is time now for them to start or they will remain behind.”
, North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has called for greater use of technology, including the Internet. But the internet is banned in the country -- instead, citizens use a domestic intranet service called Naenara.
Schmidt added that the 1 million cell phones in North Korea could easily be retooled to offer Internet access. The search giant would likely love to tap into this untouched sector with its Android mobile operating system, Gmail and Google search/Chrome browser technologies.
This isn't Google's first mission to open up the Internet in countries that are highly censored. In 2010, Google decided to
stop censoring search results
in China following attacks made on the search engine from two schools in the country.
The Obama administration opposed Schmidt's trek to North Korea, but Schmidt called it a "private humanitarian mission.”
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