Flash Drives For Freedom


As part of our technology lobotomy,  I gathered all the cables, plugs and USB drives I could find. I felt there must be something I could do to ease my social conscience than just add them to landfill and I came across Flash Drives For Freedom.Okay, so seven USB drives is a drop in the ocean for the charity. However, it is an amazing use for obsolete technology long-ago replaced with virtual/cloud storage. From googling whether it was possible to donate our old USB drives to a local charity in the UK, I have actually sent them to the USA from where they will be smuggled into North Korea!

Flash Drives For Freedom: How The Human Rights Foundation Helps North Koreans ‘One Flash Drive at a Time’

This is an intriguing HRF cause which I’ve only become aware of in the past couple of weeks. The campaign travels the world inspiring people to donate their flash drives for freedom. The majority of North Korean citizens have devices with USB drive ports or access to them and access to foreign information has grown significantly in the last 20 years.

USB drives are a significant information sharing tool as the regime is most threatened by external information getting into the hands of its citizens.  The North Korean government strictly prohibits access to any foreign information or media. Any individual found in possession of such material faces severe punishment, HRF enables defectors to smuggle outside information into the country to contravene Kim Jong-un propaganda. These drives will contain e-books, films, an offline Korean Wikipedia and other content that will be new and different from what most North Koreans know.


Flash Drives For Freedom – So What Do You Have To Do? It’s simple:

Step 1.  Post your USB drives (8GB+) to the charity at their campaign headquarters in California
Step 2.  Or you can donate cash so they can purchase additional USB drives – $1 cash = one USB drive
Step 3.  The USB drives are erased and any logos are removed
Step 4.  The USB drives are then smuggled into North Korea via various methods and distributed by a healthy black market

At the time of writing this post, 1.1m North Koreans were estimated to have viewed 120,000 donated USB drives. They contained 48m hours of reading material and 2m hours of footage.

Will you take a stand with your unwanted USB drives?

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