Information operations · Information Warfare · North Korea

How free information is driving the North Korean resistance

7th September 2017 12:16 PM

By Ginger Gorman,

WHAT if the revolution was only as big as your thumb? It might be small, but it’s mighty.

We’re talking about 60,000 USB flash drives smuggled into North Korea – one of the most closed, secretive societies on earth – over the past 18 months. And there’s another 60,000 to come. Some flash drives are smuggled in by foot over the Chinese border. Others are smuggled via drones or balloons.

What’s on the flash drives, you ask? They are jam-packed with outside media and educational materials – everything from the huge sections of Wikipedia written in Korean to parts of the 2014 Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg film The Interview about North Korea, and South Korean soap operas and K-Pop videos. In some cases, family members in South Korea separated from their loved ones in North Korea are simply sending back photos.

The Silicon Valley non-profit, Forum 280, and the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) launched Flash Drives for Freedom in order to “to flood the market and to get as much outside media and information into the country as possible [and] to make it as cheap and readily available to anybody who wanted to get it.”

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