Closed Internet Networks: Real Geographical Boundaries inside a Global Internet

The Internet was started as a local network at DARPA and today, we know of it as a global network, thanks to CERN. Every host in every corner of the world has the potential of connecting to every other. However, inside this global Internet and information exchange, we still have some networks that are reluctant to join this globalization and are more interested in a local growth.

North Korea

North Korea has no broadband. The government has been prompt in shutting down many attempts to open websites and Internet access is a privilege available only to a few elite government officials, most importantly including Kim Jong-Il himself. Recently in October 2010, the Korean Central News Agency made itself accessible through the Internet and marks North Koreas first step towards joining the Internet. However, the people of North Korea are satisfied with their own internal network and call it Kwangmyong.

Reason for the divide: Political, Language.


China is the most notorious country for Internet laws. Well, North Korea might beat it at that, but the number of Internet users in China beats that in any other country in the world. In fact, China has had to establish correction camps for Internet addicts. China loves Chinese. Therefore, most people there are comfortable using their own services (in Chinese). Baidu, Tecent and are proof enough. Moreover, strict censorship and the Great Firewall of China have worked extensively towards making its Internet self-sufficient.

Reason for the divide: Political, Language.


Russia has its own network and calls it Runet. It has done enough to learn from the global giants from niche markets like Google and Facebook and has implemented competitive features. However, all these websites are in Russian and even Facebook, which has its 70% of users outside the US, is scarcely seen in Russia. Yandex is the Google in Russia and provides almost all the services that Google provides worldwide. While is the leader in email services, the is the most popular portal, all in Russian.

Reason for the divide: Language.

Even today, language seems to be a barrier in communication and crossing the language barrier would be the technology that we can develop and invest in. Google Translate does the job roughly but a lot of work is yet to be done in this field and this can form a new business niche in future.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.