The BTW blog was initially conceived to help spread information to the masses and bring transparency to government proceedings. Of course the intention was to do that right here in Stafford but there is no place in the world that needs transparency more than North Korea. When I came across this organization, I knew I had to share it.
I first stumbled across the site through a blog I follow called Now I Know, which is a great blog that I highly recommend you check out. While most of the western world now conducts it's business wirelessly in the cloud, that is not the case in North Korea. As you likely know, access to the internet, and all media, is severely restricted and controlled there. However, more than half of North Korean households do have access to a little device called a Notel, pictured below.
This device is a portable DVD player but it also has a built in USB port. Apparently, North Koreans will use thumb drives to watch South Korean entertainment that wouldn't otherwise be accessible to them on the DVD players. Of course, such activity is illegal and very risky but it is common. According to a very discrete survey done by an organization that has access to individuals inside North Korea, "91.6 percent of North Korean respondents consume foreign media at least once each month and 83 percent of respondents said they found outside goods and information to be of greater impact on their lives than decisions by the North Korean government."
Where do North Koreans get the thumb drives in the first place? From people just like you.
FlashDrivesForFreedom.org has been collecting thumb drives, erasing them and then loading them with South Korean television shows, Hollywood movies and stories from North Korean defectors. While they have smuggled them into the country in the past on foot, they are now beginning to drop them into North Korea using drones.
I am certain that I have at least 10 of these devices scattered around my home, gathering dust in a drawer. It is very satisfying to think that for the cost of a stamp and an envelope, I could help topple a totalitarian regime. If you would like to send your old flash drives to North Koreans, please visit FlashDrivesForFreedom.org