Fighting North Korea’s dictatorship – with flash drives


If you have a flash drive or SD card that’s just gathering dust somewhere, New York-based Human Rights Foundation and Silicon Valley’s Forum280, are calling on you to donate them to their Flashdrives for Freedom campaign, PRI reports:

In an effort to combat censorship in North Korea, the two organizations are collecting unwanted memory disks that will be used to smuggle banned South Korean and Western content, such as films, TV shows, books and internet content, across the country’s borders….. The two nonprofits are collaborating with a network of North Korean, defector-led organizations in South Korea to get the drives into the country, including North Korean Strategy Center, North Korean Intellectual Solidarity and Now and Action & Unity for NK Human Rights.

Alex Gladstein, HRF chief strategy officer, says civil society groups collectively smuggle less than 10,000 flashdrives annually. They are unable to send more because they buy the drives on the Internet at retail cost. Flashdrives for Freedom serves as a collection point, in the hopes that gifting these organizations with these devices will allow them to focus on other pressing matters.

“In terms of working towards free society, there is no more important country than North Korea,” says Trevor Kornwell, President of Forum280. “It’s not only a symbol of the evil that totalitarian regimes can become, but it’s in practice with a menacing way of life and we saw it as an important country to do what we can for.”


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