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North Korea only has 28 websites

It’s hard to reconcile the modern world we live in — where information is readily accessible and flows freely — with the reality of what life is like for the vast majority of North Koreans who remain under the draconian rule of an oppressive regime that, quite literally, does everything in its power to shield its populace from any information that isn’t tailor-made or approved by government officials.

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Because North Korea clamps down on Internet access and purposefully prevents its citizens from communicating with the outside world, there’s an awful lot that we don’t know about the country. As a result, there’s always a high level of fascination anytime someone manages to take and release unsanctioned photos of the country or divulge previously unknown tidbits of information about life there.

With that in mind, GitHub earlier today revealed the full extent of North Korean websites that can be accessed by outsiders, and as you might expect, it’s a small list consisting of just 28 domains. Now as for how access to that list of domains became possible, here’s what happened:

On Sept 19, 2016 at approximately 10:00PM (PST), one of North Korea’s top level nameservers was accidentally configured to allow global DNS zone transfers. This allows anyone who performs an AXFR (zone transfer) request to the country’ nameserver can get a copy of the nation’s top level DNS data.

 And that’s exactly what the TL;DR project did.

When the dust settled, the TL;DR project discovered that only 28 sites were found to be using the .KP top level domain. Not surprisingly, a few of them aren’t even operational though a handful – such as – appear to be live for now.The full listing can be read below. – for purchasing airline tickets for viewing North Korean cuisine – North Korean news – An insurance company

If you’re a bit nervous about checking out these sites on your own, someone has done the Internet at large a favor by visiting those sites and taking screenshots of what he saw.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.