Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, is on a mysterious trip to North Korea together with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. The reason for their visit remains unclear, but Richardson says that the trip is “private” and “humanitarian.” But a new report from the Associated Press paints a much clearer picture. According to the distinguished publication, Schmidt visited Kim Il Sung University and took a look at how its students use information online. Joining them are Schmidt’s daughter, Sophie, and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen.
Talking to students at an e-library, the high-profile Google executive witnessed students using HP computers to access reading materials from Cornell University’s online resources. Cohen asked one student how they search for information online. When the student typed Google, Cohen said, “That’s where I work!” Cohen also tried to Google “New York City” and accessed a Wikipedia page describing the place. “That’s where I live,” Cohen told the students.
AP notes that computers were linked to a domestic Intranet service that allowed students to read state-run media online and access a library of reading materials curated by North Korean officials. North Koreans with computers in their homes can also access the Intranet service. Access to the Internet is a rare privilege in the country. The government has a strict rule in place which limits the access to the web.
Image Source: Associated Press via CBS News