Flash Drives for Freedom

Collecting new and used flash drives to help North Koreans

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Sarah Cornwell
Sarah CornwellHunter@sccornwell · @appbackr, @forum280, PH Contributor
Flash drives can be vital conveyors of information for millions of people around the world—especially people living in North Korea. Human Rights Foundation and Forum 280 are collecting flash drives to give to these North Korean refugee-led organizations. Each year, these groups collectively smuggle fewer than 10,000 flash drives. They could send many more, but are limited by the fact that they have to purchase the drives on the internet at retail cost. By gifting them drives, Flash drives for Freedom allows them to focus in 2016 on programs and future work rather than spend time and money on purchasing equipment. We are three weeks into our collection and have already collected thousands of drives, thanks to articles in Wired, PC Magazine, and the Huffington Post.
Tom Skypek
Tom Skypek@tomskypek · Co-founder, GovBizConnect
@sccornwell Really great idea. To what extent does the average North Korean have access to a computer? Any estimates on how many have access? I'm guessing they have an underground computer cafe network of some sort. Thx.
Alex Gladstein
Alex GladsteinMaker@alexgladstein · Chief Strategy Officer at HRF
@tomskypek @sccornwell Hi Tom! Not many North Koreans have access to a computer, but many have access to devices such as notels or tablets that can play media from flash drives. See this article for a detailed explanation: http://www.wired.com/2015/03/nor...
Tom Skypek
Tom Skypek@tomskypek · Co-founder, GovBizConnect
@alexgladstein @sccornwell Thanks for the answer and sharing the article. Great work. It's a human tragedy what's going on in North Korea. I hope through efforts like yours the people become aware and free themselves. Information is power and the more North Korean citizens know, the more difficult it will become for Kim to hold onto power. I'm sure his fate will be the same as the other despots who have preceded him in recent history. It's just a question of when. I truly hope this effort is a catalyst for the liberation of that country and the reunification of the Korean peninsula. Here's an article written by a friend of mine who went to Pyongyang a few years ago as part of a work delegation: http://www.nationalreview.com/ar... Thanks for your work.
Alex Gladstein
Alex GladsteinMaker@alexgladstein · Chief Strategy Officer at HRF
@tomskypek Thanks for your support, Tom! And great article in National Review. Would love to send you some more information - if that's ok, let me know where
Austin Sandmeyer
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
Interesting that a company producing FlashDrives doesn't take a stand and donate or consider a partnership... 🤔
Sarah Cornwell
Sarah CornwellHunter@sccornwell · @appbackr, @forum280, PH Contributor
@as_austin We have a sponsorship from usbmemorydirect.com and hoping to connect with more partners.
Austin Sandmeyer
Austin Sandmeyer@as_austin · Thinker/Student/Rockstar
@sccornwell Awesome! Sounds great! Didn't realize you were a "maker" for this. would have @'ed you!
Sarah Cornwell
Sarah CornwellHunter@sccornwell · @appbackr, @forum280, PH Contributor
Update: Thank you to #SXSW for donating a booth to Flashdrives for Freedom for the festival. We received about 200 drives from attendees.
Sarah Cornwell
Sarah CornwellHunter@sccornwell · @appbackr, @forum280, PH Contributor
We have a new website designed by designer @dougburnett www.flashdrivesforfreedom.org