North Korea gathering cellular intelligence (2008)

Americans should be very thankful that we have a democracy and not a dictatorship ran by a psychopathic ruler Kim Jong-il, or Kim Jong Il, in North Korea.

Any person entering North Korea under orders of Kim Jong-il has to leave their cell phone with government officials at the port of entry into the country. To enforce this rule, all persons and property is searched for contraband. If your “monitor” who stays with you the entire times catches you with contraband a prison sentence is certain. And as you can guess, there will be peaking done on your electronics. After the person has left the port of entry and is in North Korea the cell phone is sent by a military courier to a military intelligence station. Once at the station the phone undergoes both a physical and data inspection for foreign intelligence connections (ie. MI5, CIA, ect.). All data including the call logs, address book, photos, emails, passwords, phone ID, SIM, and more, is saved to a computer system to be searched, cross-referenced, and stored forever.

Data recover software is also ran on the phone memory, SIM, and any SD memory in an attempt to recover any deleted files still available.

I know this for a fact since I just returned from North Korea on a business trip to find my phone completely erased, even the firmware software the phone needs to run. I was told ahead of time that I would have “surrender “my cell phone upon entry into the country, so out of security concerns for my company I enabled a password entered when the phone is turned on or used, and all files on my SD card were encrypted. When I “surrendered” the phone it was operational but off. But when I got it back it was dead.

When I took it into one of my provider’s stores, the rep. said he had never seen a phone like this with no software what so ever, and a phone would have to be sent, since my old phone was trash since it would have to be reprogrammed in the factory.

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