Hack North Korea

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) hosted Hack North Korea, a gathering of Bay Area technologists, investors, engineers, designers, activists and North Korean defectors that aims to spark new ideas for getting information into the world's most closed and isolated society. The event took take place in San Francisco on August 2nd and 3rd, 2014.

Hack North Korea
North Korea, bordered by South Korea and China, as seen at night from recent satellite photos.

Prominent North Korean defectors and refugees Park Sang HakPark Yeonmi, and Kim Heung Kwang traveled from Seoul to educate Hack North Korea participants about how information is currently brought into the tightly controlled closed regime—whether via leaflets dropped by helium-nitrogen balloons, on USB drives and DVDs, or by shortwave radio. The participants built on this existing knowledge and brainstormed new and innovative ways of getting information past the North Korean regime’s information blockade. Presentations took place on Sunday, August 3, and judges selected a winning team. HRF’s goal is to implement some of the winning ideas into actual field operations in the months following the hackathon.

The hackathon is part of HRF’s ongoing Disrupt North Korea project and is another step in building a bridge between the defector and Silicon Valley communities, allowing more information than ever to reach the North Korean people.

Read more about Hack North Korea in The Guardian, Wired, and PBS. Learn more about HRF’s Disrupt North Korea project at MotherboardThe AtlanticArs Technica, and the Mercury News.