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Date : November 27, 2013
Tracing Contents of Phone Conversations in NK
   http://news.donga.com/Main/3/all/20131126/59136919/1 [952]
Dong-A Ilbo reported that the National Security Agency in North Korea smuggled an ‘Automatic Tracing Phone Conversation Program,’ which was made by an American private corporation, and is tapping the contents of people’s phone conversations.
 
Kim Seung Chul, President of North Korea Reform Radio, said that many defectors revealed that the program automatically filters out threatening words against the regime such as ‘assassination,’ ‘escape,’ ‘explosion,’ etc. and sends them to the NSA. Another defector also said that his acquaintance, who is a high ranking official in the NSA in North Korea, told him not to speak carelessly and explained the program.
 
This tracing program, which the North Korean NSA uses, works in a similar fashion to Echelon, an American NSA phone tapping program. When it senses threatening words against the regime, it begins to listen to the caller, and when they receive clear evidence, the NSA arrests the caller. The reason why the North Korean authorities even use this tracing program is because it is almost impossible to trace everyone’s phone conversations since the number of cell-phone suppliers in North Korea is 2,300,000. For this, Kim Seung Chul stated that the authorities cannot block people’s usage of cell phones since the rate of cell phone use is too high.

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