The people of North Korea are shut off from the world around them due to the oppressive government in which they live under. With no connection to the outside world, the Human Rights Foundation held a hackathon in hopes to bolster ideas and support among the tech community to help people in the region.
The winners of this competition want to smuggle satellite receivers or flat TV antennas into the country, which would allow locals to pick up TV broadcasts from the neighboring South Korea. This would just be the initial stages of the plan according to one of the winning team members, Matthew Lee (who was using a pseudonym). "Right now North Korea is a hermit state. If we can at least get to a state where you can use Twitter, then people will understand what's going on outside," Lee explained. "That's the first catalyst and then they can use our device to create a shadow network and with that, they can bring about a change within their own social context."
Like any idea of this nature, it is still just an idea, with some major issues to get around. First of all, a major part of the winning idea is hinged on being able to successfully smuggle in these TV antennas, which as you likely imagine, won't be easy. The DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) is one of the most highly guarded borders on the planet and the North Korean government implements flying drones to keep watch, among many other things. There is hope though, activist groups have been known to successfully drop everything from USB sticks to transistor radios into the country using air balloons.
The group also plans to make use of the as of now unavailable Lunenburg lens designs, which would allow for much more compact and flat satellite TV antennas. While it will still be some time before the Lunenberg research takes shape, the design should allow North Koreans to implement the tech in a somewhat inconspicuous way.