Could software-defined radios empower citizen journalists in North Korea?

USB SDRs like the FunCube Dongle Pro could inspire a generation of SDRs that transmit information across the North Korean border.

USB SDRs like the RTL-SDR could inspire a generation of SDRs that not only receive, but transmit information across the North Korean border.

I was recently interviewed and quoted in an article by Ole Jakob Skåtun at NK NewsSkåtun is exploring the possibility of using inexpensive SDR dongles as a means for citizen journalists to receive and potentially send information across the North Korean border:

(Source: NK News)

“While North Korea recently ranked second-to-last on Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, new ways of using digital radio broadcasting might prove a valuable tool for those who wish to increase information flows into and out of the country.

So-called software-defined radio (SDR) technology, brought into the country on USB devices, could be used for receiving and, potentially, sending data – text, audio and video files – on radio band frequencies.

SDR technology is a radio communications system where all components typically implemented via hardware for standard radios have been made into software. Loaded onto a flash drive-sized USB-dongle, they have the potential to turn any computer with a USB port into a receiver and transmitter. 

Radio experts and NGO representatives said that something like this might have potential as a new way of bringing information into North Korea, and in certain cases provide a tool for citizen reporters working inside the country to bring information out.”

[Continue reading…]

Click here to read the full article, How digital radio could break North Korea’s information blockade at NK News.

(NK News is an independent, privately owned specialist site focused on North Korea.)

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  1. Pingback: AirChat: Long-distance digital communications via radio | The SWLing Post

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