A colleague shared the following story. Like any modern totalitarian regime, North Korea realizes that its greatest enemy is the information revolution. The Soviet Union suffered a great blow when video cassettes from abroad started penetrating the country, and people could see what the daily lives of their peers in “rotting capitalist societies” were really like.
Today, North Korea faces the same problem. In order to prevent people from watching tapes and DVDs smuggled from the West, the Secret Police uses the following strategy. A police truck arrives at a neighborhood and cuts the electricity in the entire block of houses. This makes it impossible for the residents to eject cassettes and discs and destroy or hide them before the police officers get to their apartment. Then, the officers only have to walk from one abode to another, collecting the equipment that, more often than not, does contain illegal Western viewing material.