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Group Hopes to Thwart Kim Jong Un With Old Thumb Drives

Image: Group Hopes to Thwart Kim Jong Un With Old Thumb Drives
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By    |   Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 01:09 PM

A human rights group is collecting old USB thumb drives in hopes of thwarting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his state-run media while giving North Koreans a taste of the entertainment the rest of the world enjoys.

"In the world's most closed society, flash drives are valuable tools of education and discovery," the Human Rights Foundation and Forum 280 says on the initiative's website. "In a society without Internet, with total government censorship and with no independent media, North Koreans rely on these little pieces of plastic. Filled with films, books and explainers, they are windows to the outside world."

Few North Koreans have their own computers, but many do own smartphones and video players and can view USB files, according to WIRED.

"This is a viable technology that works there, that North Koreans have decided is a way to reach people," Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer for Human Rights Foundation, told WIRED. "Each one has the potential to literally change someone's life."

According to the initiative's website, the flash drivers are loaded with anything from "South Korean soap operas to Hollywood films to Korean-language versions of Wikipedia to interviews with North Korean defectors."

Western films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sylvester Stallone are particularly popular, reports the BBC, and North Koreans also enjoy television shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Spartacus."

Gladstein was also behind sending 10,000 copies of "The Interview," a comedy about a plot to kill Kim Jong Un, by balloon into North Korea. The movie had been declared an act of war when it came out and led to the Sony hacking incidents in 2014.

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A human rights group is collecting old USB thumb drives in hopes of thwarting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his state-run media while giving North Koreans a taste of the entertainment the rest of the world enjoys.
human rights, group, hopes, thwart, kim jong un, flash drives
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2016-09-11
Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 01:09 PM
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