Non-profit that takes donated flash drives with data to counter the official propaganda into North Korea

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andyprough
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Iscritto: 02/12/2015

I ran across this website today - what do you folks think? https://flashdrivesforfreedom.org/

They take your donated, used flash drives, fill them with information to counter the propaganda put out by the Kim regime, and smuggle them into North Korea. Apparently reading material from USB drives is very popular in North Korea. This is all according to their website, I don't have any way to check out their claims.

I think this must put some North Korean people at risk to have these drives, but at the same time there is allegedly a real hunger for this type of information among the people. Very interesting project.

commodore256
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Iscritto: 01/10/2013

It's a noble mission.

Hopefully, their mission won't be needed for long. There are countries way more wealthy than North Korea that are collapsing. All countries, even countries that aren't as totalitarian go on an exponential growth curve and their bubble eventually pops.

andyprough
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Iscritto: 02/12/2015

> Hopefully, their mission won't be needed for long. There are countries way more wealthy than North Korea that are collapsing

One reason North Korea has been resistant to collapse despite extreme poverty and starvation among the non-ruling class has been the ability of the Kim regime to tightly control their access to information. The regime has repeatedly told the population that America, South Korea, and Japan are planning to invade and enslave and commit mass rapes. This is believable to the uninformed people because of the horrendous, monstrous way the Japanese treated Koreans when they controlled the country in the decades prior to World War II. As well as because the US and South Korea are still officially at war with North Korea, since the Korean war in the 1950s ended with an armistice, not with a peace agreement.

Masaru Suzuqi
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Iscritto: 06/06/2018

Some questions.

If USB drives is very popular in North Korea, people must be able to afford to buy USB sticks in North Korea. Or would it be expensive, I don't know. 125.000 USB drives are already donated and pledged. Maybe North Korea people can copy the information in their country by themselves. Copying is an advantage of digital devices. Or just copying the information on the devices itself in the country has any risk? I wonder if just reading the information on the devices (what kind of devices would they use?) becomes a risk. It would depend the degree of surveillance. I do not think American companies would cooperate with the regime but I am not sure about Chinese companies. Or do they use Trisquel or something?

And we should know what the information is written in the USB drive before discussing. Generally Wikipedia's articles are reliable. And Wikipedia has quite high credit among the world. People of North Korea would be able to think something from even only the article of Wikipedia about their country, on the basis of credit of Wikipedia (would they trust an American organisation? though).
I wonder what the purpose of that human right foundation is. Would they have concreted detailed tactics? Just informing the information and ta-da, roll your own? OK, given that the majority of North Korea people read the information, what would happens? Revolution? I don't like Fidel Castro but I have had some doubts about Cuba's policy. Besides South Korea (and Japan too according to Akira Asada's opinion) is still kept under the USA's control. Indeed the situation of people would improve anyway but I think it is that just a new idiot appears as their leader. Would the foundation take about the consequences on themselves? It seems to be beyond one organisation's responsibility. It might lead to an nuclear attack.

The point is what the information is written in the USB drives. I am not sure if I can trust the writers or editors of it. Indeed it seems that they do not open the information that is written in the USB drive to the public at least in the website. I might send an email to them to ask some things including about the written information but my English skills would take at least a hour to write the email...

andyprough
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Iscritto: 02/12/2015

You've posted excellent questions and thoughts as usual Masaru. They do have some limited answers to your questions on their website:

>>WHAT GOES ON THE DRIVES?
??Our North Korean defector partners determine what goes on the drives. Content ranges from South Korean soap operas and Hollywood films, to Korean-language versions of Wikipedia and interviews with North Korean defectors.

>>HOW DOES THIS MAKE AN IMPACT?
>>These drives will carry content that is new and different from everything most North Koreans know. This authoritarian regime is most threatened by external information getting into the hands of its citizens.

We can't see the content, but it makes me laugh to imagine the government getting very angry to find out their people are watching South Korea soap opera TV shows.

Masaru Suzuqi
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Iscritto: 06/06/2018

Yes it is an interesting idea. I was thinking that people of North Korea basically did not have computers. That would mean the internet is not spread across the country yet. Would the government even ban having computers.

Edit of the last post: I don't like Fidel Castro -> I don't dislike Fidel Castro. (¥ v ¥)$

nadebula.1984
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Iscritto: 05/01/2018

Hahaha, there will be such things in China, too. In fact, Chinese workers have already been striking and revolting since the (in)famous capitalist reforms started in 1978.

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

Ubiquitous file sharing via USB thumb drives has infested most if not all devices with computer worms.

https://www.northkoreatech.org/2014/01/30/internet-access-computers-and-high-tech-life-at-pust/

But worms — pieces of computer code that replicate themselves from machine to machine and steal data — were prevalent.

That’s because students relied on USB memory sticks to transfer files to avoid the uncertain and uneven availability of the Internet. The USB sticks provide an easy way for the worms to copy themselves.

Scott said he examined a few, but they didn’t appear to be particularly insidious.

“The ones I looked at were pretty boring,” said Scott. “Known Windows worms.”

nadebula.1984
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Iscritto: 05/01/2018

Students in my lab use one of the GNU/Linux workstations to exclusively "defuse" the USB storage devices, by deleting the "autorun.inf" files on such devices.

I don't know why such Losedows malware is still a big problem. The "autorun" (anti-)feature was disabled by default starting Losedows 7, which will reach end of life very soon.

boba
Online
Iscritto: 08/28/2017

Is there also a plan to enable access to uncensored information in Europe or say, in the US?