Representational tablet image
Woolim seeks to stamp the North Korean government's authority through its customized ROM (Representational image) Getty Images

North Korea's latest Android tablet, Woolim, was showcased by researchers at the 2016 Chaos Communication Congress hacking festival in Hamburg, Germany. The tablet built by Chinese manufacturer Hoozo has been customized heavily by the Kim Jong-un-led government to meet the nation's totalitarian standards.

As Android is an open source platform, the tablet has a highly customised ROM which is primarily built to spy on user activity and limit the usage of the device to what the regime considers appropriate. This includes limiting the distribution of contraband media, tracking its users, and generally acting as a propaganda platform for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Although the country is believed to have made such tablets in the past, Woolim is said to be the latest, dating from 2015.

The hardware for the device is built by Hoozo, but even there the government has removed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components.

Moreover, connectivity options are few as only government sanctioned files and media can be transferred on the device.

Files and third-party APKs that do not have a cryptographic signature generated by the tablet's custom program will not run.

The most totalitarian feature of the tablet, however, is one that enables it to capture a screenshot each time a user opens an app. These screenshots cannot be deleted and the device keeps a record of what the user has been doing. Researchers who examined the tablets say it is highly unlikely that the average North Korean citizen can bypass these measures.

To spread propaganda, the tablet contains various texts for users to read as well as the capability to play local TV and connect to the country's own internet, which is also restricted.