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Iranians Outwit Censors With Falun Gong Software

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the routing-around-it dept.

Censorship 171

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that since last year more than 400,000 Iranians began surfing the uncensored Web using software created for the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that has been suppressed by the Chinese government since 1999. More than 20 countries now use increasingly sophisticated blocking and filtering systems for Internet content, according to Reporters Without Borders, including Iran, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. The creators of the software seized upon by Iranians are members of the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, based largely in the United States and closely affiliated with Falun Gong. Interestingly enough, the United States government and the Voice of America have financed some of the circumvention technology efforts, and a coalition is organizing to push for more Congressional financing of anti-filtering efforts, bringing together dissidents of Vietnam, Iran, the Uighur minority of China, Tibet, Myanmar, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, as well as the Falun Gong, to lobby Congress for the financing. 'What is our leverage toward a country like Iran? Very little,' said Michael Horowitz, a fellow at the Hudson Institute. 'Suppose we have the capacity to make it possible for the president of the United States at will to communicate with hundreds of thousands of Iranians at no risk or limited risk? It just changes the world.'"

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What's old world is new world again (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788287)

Hopefully the citizens of Britain and Australia and Germany can get a hold of this software so that they can use the Internet without government censorship impeding them.

Re:What's old world is new world again (3, Insightful)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789283)

Heck, It would be prudent for everyone to keep a copy around just in case...

Re:What's old world is new world again (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789637)

"Heck, It would be prudent for everyone to keep a copy around just in case..."

I agree.

Actually don't you find it a little ironic, that the US is apparently helping fund ways for other countries' citizens to circumvent their governments' censorship, all the while trying to clamp down and crack down on our own citizens usage of the internet?

Re:What's old world is new world again (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789723)

Exactly what I was thinking as I read the summary.

If some other country tried something like that in the USA, it would be labeled as a terrorist threat/plot.

Re:What's old world is new world again (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790025)

Quotes from US Government and European Parliament documents. "It is U.S. policy to ... use all appropriate instruments of U.S. influence to support the free flow of information; deter U.S. businesses from cooperating with Internet-restricting countries in effecting online censorship." - The Global Online Freedom Act

I have to agree with you! The above quote comes from the GIFC (http://www.internetfreedom.org/) web page. How do they square that statement with the other Government policies that aim to restrict an individual's access?

Re:What's old world is new world again (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790217)

I doubt the terrorist plot claim hold much water in the US any more.

No, these days you can hear the plaintive wail of "Won't someone please think of the Children" anytime someone speaks out against censorship.

Child porn is the major excuse for excessive censorship today, but Australia proposed to block thousands of legitimate sites in the pursuit of child porn, and Minnesota wants to block gambling sites.

Most censorship in the US is not done by the Federal Government, but rather by over zealous ISPs, Schools, and in the work-place.

The US government is large enough that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

However, don't expect this inconsistency to last if those pushing for more censorship gain the ear of the current administration.

That being said, I will bet you Dollars to Donunts that government censorship will arrive in the EU before it arrives in the US on any comparable scale.

This is because, when you strip away the rhetoric, the EU is based on the notion that people can not govern themselves, and the elite must assume this burden. The US has historically espoused the concept of self government.

How long either can be true to their founding principals is anyone's guess.

Re:What's old world is new world again (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789709)

I already keep several programs that would defeat any filter that Conroy is competent enough to implement, as well as a simple list of proxies... If censorship in Australia happens, it won't affect me, but I'll be damned if I don't fight it every step of the way.

As Always (4, Insightful)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788297)

"The internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it". People can do so too.

Great Idea, but Wait 4 Years Please (1, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788815)

'Suppose we have the capacity to make it possible for the president of the United States at will to communicate with hundreds of thousands of Iranians at no risk or limited risk?

For what purpose? So he can apologize?

Re:Great Idea, but Wait 4 Years Please (0)

Shads (4567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788893)

Bush isn't president anymore.

Re:Great Idea, but Wait 4 Years Please (3, Funny)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788983)

Yes "I'm sorry we didn't prevent the Islamic revolution in 1979".

Re:Great Idea, but Wait 4 Years Please (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789545)

No, to apologize for blowhards like you

2-3M Iranians died in the Iran-Iraq proxy war, where American chemical weapons were used and even encouraged, and that served no real purpose except to make arms manufacturers richer. Heck, they were even selling weapons to both sides to "sweeten the pot". It had nothing to do with Islam, or the Soviets : only profit.

Any excuse will do! When people are no longer afraid of jihadists, the powers that be will figure out some new scare tactic to bring the sheep on board for another military adventure, probably invading some other defenseless country like Afghanistan or Iraq. Bunch of COWARDS.

Your entire country should be put on trial. Voting for such Presidents again and again makes you responsible. Yes, even people who didn't vote for Bush are responsible for his actions. When your country invades another and kills hundreds of thousands of people -- FOR PROFIT, you all deserve sanctions for allowing it to happen, and shielding those responsible.

Re:Great Idea, but Wait 4 Years Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789809)

you all deserve sanctions for allowing it to happen, and shielding those responsible.

There is no need for you to use extreme language and extreme conclusions to get our attention. This is the same tactic George Bush used. Drama queen.

Re:Great Idea, but Wait 4 Years Please (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789555)

Did you just pick a random early high-rated post and reply to it?

Thought so.

I have a dream... (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788303)

... of a world without frontiers or lines, united through their common love of pirated games and porn download torrents.

Re:I have a dream... (3, Informative)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788661)

And the world has not been driven to dysfunctionalty by the freewheeling Internet, so censors and critics may as well get a life

Re:I have a dream... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790211)

I bet a lot of "Dateline - to Catch a Predator" viewers would disagree.

Re:I have a dream... (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789907)

A world in which anyone with the mental capacity to *both* download and run a program gets /. headline cred for 'outwitting' somebody. Script-kiddies the world over rejoice.

As the son of an Iranian refugee (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788361)

Since the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Ayatollahs, Iran has politically regressed to a very dangerous stage. However, culturally the country is still very close to America. Despite the religiosity demanded by the mullahs, many consolations have been made to keep the populace from rioting.

From simple things like not requiring a full hijab to really bizarre things like ultra-temporary marriages to allow single men the pleasures of prostitutes legally under Sharia. Iran is a country struggling to break back into the modern world.

The faster we can get a strong secular leader in power there, the better the odds of Iran returning to the peaceful international fold.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788835)

really bizarre things like ultra-temporary marriages to allow single men the pleasures of prostitutes legally under Sharia.

1:01am Get married
1:02am Get divorce
1:03am Profit

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789041)

This is Slashdot, so you're probably right about the time estimate.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (5, Insightful)

quantax (12175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788851)

Not to defend the current theocrats, but you do realize Shah was a dictator and already "politically regressed to a very dangerous stage" which is why the revolution happened. The current government is learning that that fever of the revolution has died and people just want to live their lives. The progress will be slow but I have confidence Iranians will increasingly reject the cultural neanderthals within their current government.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789181)

I too think it is wrong for one sect to have complete control of a country (as do most of the Ayatollahs in Iran). However, given what I've seen of Ahmadinejad's shoot from the hip, I don't care who I piss off, fiery rhetoric versus Khomeini's quietly cautious even though overly conservative and dogmatic style, I'm personally thankful that Khomeini has all the real political power, not Iran's duly elected president.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789891)

You mean Kamenei

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (-1, Flamebait)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789427)

The progress will be slow but I have confidence Iranians will increasingly reject the cultural neanderthals within their current government.

We haven't even been able to do this in the U.S. after 200 years, what hope does anyone have of government not telling you how to live your life?

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27790261)

Seasteading! /sarcasm

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (3, Interesting)

lanorien (1056426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789473)

Although it's true the Shah was a dictator of sorts, what the people of Iran wanted with the revolution was not an absolute theocracy. During the revolution there was a coalition of nationalists, communists, and others along with the Islamists. It just happened that the Islamists betrayed them all before the smoke even cleared and then wielded absolute power. I think anything to allow the Iranian people better access to the rest of the world is a tremendous step.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (1, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789829)

The progress will be slow but I have confidence Americans will increasingly reject the Republicans within their current government.

There. Fixed that for you. Yes, yes. I know that there are more countries in "America" than the U.S., but everybody still calls us Americans. The point is that one has to be struck by the similarity of two groups of culturally conservative old men who have become dangerously out of touch with the world they live in. Both are becoming marginalized as a result. Just sayin'.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (4, Insightful)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788995)

The faster we can get a strong secular leader in power there, the better the odds of Iran returning to the peaceful international fold.

Hopefully the "we" is you and your fellow Iranians (wonder if /. can be read in Iran). We (as in the rest of the world) have countless examples why we should not be in the business of installing our favorite "leaders" at the heads of unstable governments. Supporting means for people to criticize, mobilize, and install a leader that meets their best interests (as determined by them, not outsiders) may take longer, but ultimately results in a more stable society.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789169)

"From simple things like not requiring a full hijab to really bizarre things like ultra-temporary marriages to allow single men the pleasures of prostitutes legally under Sharia. Iran is a country struggling to break back into the modern world."

Are you serious? That sounds modern to you? How about women who want to fulfil their sexual desires - do they get to visit male escorts under this one-minute-marriage rule? I somehow doubt it. And not requiring a full hijab !=freedom either. You are gullibly swallowing the idea that a relaxation of draconian rules is a sign of progress. It's not. It's a sign that cynical leaders are prepared to give the masses a few sops so that there will never be enough popular support for real change. Only when the populace do riot will Iran have a hope of being dragged into what you call "the modern world".

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27790079)

Are you serious? That sounds modern to you? How about women who want to fulfil their sexual desires - do they get to visit male escorts under this one-minute-marriage rule? I somehow doubt it. And not requiring a full hijab !=freedom either. You are gullibly swallowing the idea that a relaxation of draconian rules is a sign of progress. It's not. It's a sign that cynical leaders are prepared to give the masses a few sops so that there will never be enough popular support for real change. Only when the populace do riot will Iran have a hope of being dragged into what you call "the modern world".

Stupid parent. Your baby takes a couple of wobbly steps before falling on his chubby little ass and that looks like walking to you?

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789561)

Hey, uhh, you in LA? What are some good places for Iranian kabob? I knew a good one back in D.C., but can't find a comparable one in LA.

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789747)

The faster we can get a strong secular leader in power there, the better the odds of Iran returning to the peaceful international fold.

Which is why it was probably stupid of the NYT to expose the ability to circumvent censorship...

Re:As the son of an Iranian refugee (1)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789827)

"The faster we can get a strong secular leader in power there, the better the odds of Iran returning to the peaceful international fold." That's what we said about the USA when Bush was in power....in fact any country controlled by authoritarian religious crackpots will benefit from replacing them with a liberal leader with secular leanings, though I have to admit that here in the UK we missed that opportunity when Blair slipped out of the back door.

The markets are effective at this sort of thing (5, Insightful)

azgard (461476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788423)

Look at the military industry for example. There is a large market for guns, shells and missiles on one side, and also large market for bulletproof vests, armour and missile defense on the other side.

This is a similar situation. Especially the makers of internet filtering software, such as Cisco, should take note of this emerging market opportunity.

So, we should really keep the markets do their own thing, and the economy will grow and prosper.

Re:The markets are effective at this sort of thing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788723)

>

So, we should really keep the markets do their own thing, and the economy will grow and prosper.

Except we end up creating useless products without a point, instead of using those resources for something that might be helpful.

Re:The markets are effective at this sort of thing (2, Informative)

azgard (461476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788767)

Exactly! Maybe that was why I was sarcastic..

Re:The markets are effective at this sort of thing (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789185)

I wouldn't dismiss this progress out of hand. Both the problems faced by censors and the problems faced by those routing around them are very significant issues in the science of networks. The solutions, even the ones used by the "enemy" (the censors) will have wider applications: For example, the packet filtering algorithms could be useful against botnets.

It's like spammers advancing OCR technology.

Re:The markets are effective at this sort of thing (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790037)

Except we end up creating useless products without a point, ...

If a company creates a product that people want to buy, evidently those people see a point and don't find it useless. If nobody wants to buy a product, it isn't made for very long, and the company moves on to something else. A growing, healthy economy is a two-sided sheet of paper. On one side there are producers, on the other consumers. Producers need to be free to make what consumers want to buy. If producers don't make things the consumers want to buy, the economy fails.

That's the whole point behind free markets and capitalism. Free markets and capitalism work, unless you are someone who wants to define what is necessary for others. Then they are a danger that must be regulated. Regulating what a company can make doesn't create demand, it only creates failure.

E.g., people want cars that can carry more than two skinny adults and a bag of peanuts. They're called SUVs. They carry more stuff and people more safely than tiny little cars. They go places that tiny little cars cannot. Some people don't want to allow this as a choice, so they create regulations on the market that limit choices.

"Your car must get 30 MPG." I'm ok paying for the gas at 27 MPG, it's none of your business if I want to pay extra for the comfort and safety.

"You live in the city and don't need an SUV." I live in the city and drive into the country to search for people when they get lost. I think that could be called "helpful", don't you?

So that's the sound that . . . (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788949)

. . . free market sophistry makes when you stretch it almost to the breaking point.

This comparison is NONSENSE. TOA details a case of a counter culture's home-brew counter measures being used to get around state censorship. It's not like Iranians went to Best Buy to buy a copy of Freedom Industries' new app.

Not every problem in the world is amenable to "free market" solutions. Deal with it.

No (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789225)

The market is only effective at maximizing profit, regardless of the consequences for human rights, or the environment, or whatever.

For instance, if there's a market for selling drugs that kill people for enormous profit, the market will kill people, buy off scientists to claim that their product does not kill people, buy politicians who will support their operations, and sell those drugs to children in countries where there is no effective legislation. If you think that petrochemicals, genetically modified crops, pharmaceuticals, growth hormones, soft drinks, and fast food franchises are any different than cigarettes, I think you're completely naive.

Just like a democracy functions only with a check against corruption with a strong and critical news media, markets only function with a strong and legitimate regulatory body that checks against greed and exploitation of irreplaceable resources.

Corporatism and unregulated markets are tyrannical. The people with the most money control society with near impunity, a fact they forget to mention in Econ 101 when they talk about voting with your dollars.

Hooray for Falun Gong (4, Interesting)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788493)

Falun Gong/Falun Dafa have been brutalized by the Chinese government for years for doing nothing more than practicing a mental and physical discipline.

They are experts in software like this because their leadership is almost certainly under constant surveillance.

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788671)

Um, please read up on Falun Gong. You seem blissfully ignorant of the reality of this cult.

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788825)

So tell me, are you an employee of the Chinese government, or just an ordinary Chinese citizen?

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788833)

Chinese Intelligence Operative alert!

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (1)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789287)

Um, please read up on Falun Gong. You seem blissfully ignorant of the reality of this cult.

Why not enlighten us then? While probably most readers are pro Falun Gong/anti Chinese government in this conflict I'm sure some of us can be convinced with well-reasoned arguments and documented cases of whatever nefarious activities Falun Gong members generally engage in.

I mean we could probably do the research ourselves but since you're obviously better informed you could just point us towards the highest quality sources yourself.

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789049)

Falun Gong/Falun Dafa have been brutalized by the Chinese government for years for doing nothing more than practicing a mental and physical discipline.

Ummm.... not really true. It's because the Falun Gong ideology clashes with the government. Also, they have shown that they can organize people to protest against the government, and I think you know what the Chinese government like to do with activists.

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789889)

perhaps because the government has been persecuting, torturing, and killing them. That's a pretty good incentive to go activist. If you look back a few years, the gov't encouraged Falun Gong, and then suddenly changed it's stance.

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (2, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789605)

Falun Gong/Falun Dafa have been brutalized by the Chinese government for years for doing nothing more than practicing a mental and physical discipline.

From what I read about the Fulun Gong is that they are pretty similar to Scientology in beliefs and certain "practices". Now even though Scientologists can be a bit shady with their cult, I would still argue that it would be wrong to throw them in jail and beat their members much like the Chinese did to the FG.

Re:Hooray for Falun Gong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789833)

I would still argue that it would be wrong to throw them in jail and beat their members much like the Chinese did to the FG.

With the exception of one. Come on guess, guess who!

Yes you guessed it, but it's not cause I hate his movies. It's only cause he believes in it so wholeheartedly.

Why the surprise over Voice of America Support? (5, Insightful)

dorzak (142233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788543)

Voice of America started as a radio network for broadcasting news that shows a different point of view from that by censors in the old Soviet Bloc.

This just seems a continuation of the same mission.

Information does not "want" to be free. (4, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788561)

In the same way that an object does not "want" to fall when it is dropped, or a species does not "want" to evolve.

But it will, regardless, simply because that is its natural state.

Re:Information does not "want" to be free. (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788639)

Information does not "want" to be free.

It's more like information has a tendency to diffuse like a gas. It's hard to keep information bottled up.

Re:Information does not "want" to be free. (5, Funny)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788711)

Anthropomorphism hates being used in an analogy.

Re:Information does not "want" to be free. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789235)

or a species does not "want" to evolve.

Oh, I can think of at least two [icanhascheezburger.com] species [ihasahotdog.com] who want, very badly, to evolve. At least to the point of not staring and begging for cheezburgers or hotdogz.

Cyber attack? (5, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788565)

Interestingly enough, the United States government and the Voice of America have financed some of the circumvention technology efforts,

Would that count as a cyber attack on Iran or China?

Re:Cyber attack? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788803)

Look at it as the equivilant non-cyble technology. In this case, it would be like handing out encrypted radios to all the people in the target country. I don't know that that would constitute an attack, but it sure would piss off the powers that be.

Help We're Under Attack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788867)

Our people are speaking freely!

Patronizing as hell (2, Funny)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788573)

"'Suppose we have the capacity to make it possible for the president of the United States at will to communicate with hundreds of thousands of Iranians at no risk or limited risk? It just changes the world.'"

Right, because those dumb Iranians couldn't possibly know anything until POTUS tells 'em about it. Obama will just do a two minute webcast on how many great jobs are available in the American auto industry, bookended by lolcats, and the government will fall!

Sheesh.

Re:Patronizing as hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788945)

Well its either that or they are told by their government that our president has been dissin them with yo'mama jokes. But at least they won't be Seinfeld jokes!

Re:Patronizing as hell (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789091)

Way to let your ideology block you from getting the point.

Re:Patronizing as hell (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789943)

The major motivations for people who fight wars are pride, fear and access to resources. If you really want only one reason, its probably fear.

Fear frequently is a result of ignorance of what the other side is really saying.

The people of Iran and most populations in general, are not interested in wars. There's nothing in it for them except hardship and poverty. They will fight if they have to, however. The censorship of the media in Iran makes it possible for the mullahs to filter the information coming in, so it looks like the West are aggressors.

Free exchange of information stops wars.

Left hand, meet right hand (5, Insightful)

JimMcc (31079) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788589)

First, I'll state that I support this, worldwide.

That said, I find it a bit whacked that on one hand we have part of our government demanding filtering and selective blocking of websites in public locations and schools. While at the same time a different part of our government is supporting and funding software to bypass filtering and blocking.

Maybe we should drop the Politically Correct filtering efforts and quit wasting everybody's money. After all, isn't that what our government seems to be saying to other countries? Or is it just our country and our allies that are allowed to filter? Come on USA, get your story straight.

Re:Left hand, meet right hand (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788869)

Yes, and I'm sure plenty of Iranians are using this kind of technology to download software from US sites, despite attempts by those sites to honor US export control laws that require the boycotting of Iran. Not that any of this really matters from a security point of view, as the Iranian government would always be able to get what it wants.

Re:Left hand, meet right hand (5, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788951)

It makes perfect sense.

We blow up foreign infrastructure only to rebuild it.

We give tax breaks while simultaneously starting new spending programs.

We fight poppy growers, who fund terrorism, while simultaneously sustaining an artificially expensive black market for drugs. In a sense, we're both funding and fighting terrorism.

So there's absolutely nothing inconsistent about our behavior here.

Re:Left hand, meet right hand (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790009)

We blow up foreign infrastructure only to rebuild it.

To be fair, that *did* work quite good for Japan. I just wish it would have worked as well for Germany as well...

Re:Left hand, meet right hand (1)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789129)

Dude. Everything is not black and white. I appreciate a little nuanced pragmatism if it keeps you and your homeless comrades from enjoying pron at the library.

Re:Left hand, meet right hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27790143)

Ummmm... I know. There is this president from this country... yah Iran. He calls the US a hypocrite.

What about the people being held in guantanamo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27788597)

Will this software give them a voice? Will it allow them to get a fair or timely trial or avoid being tortured by the Americans?

Hell no.

Re:What about the people being held in guantanamo? (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789915)

Will this software give them a voice? Will it allow them to get a fair or timely trial or avoid being tortured by the Americans?

Hell no.

Well, for starters, we have an immanent closure of the facilities there [whitehouse.gov] . Even with the trial delays being attempted, it won't be operating for long.

The 'net is pull, not push, technology (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788769)

Suppose we have the capacity to make it possible for the president of the United States at will to communicate with hundreds of thousands of Iranians at no risk or limited risk? It just changes the world. You're assuming those thousands of Iranians would actually want to download messages from Obama, rather than downloading porn. As a general rule, the more repressed people's public lives are, the more sleazy their secret, private lives become. Iran has a huge surplus of educated but unemployed young men. I suspect that "free porn" is pretty high on their list of motivations for defeating filters, while "hearing what Obama has to say" is pretty low. Especially given that Obama doesn't speak Farsi. Porn is universal, it needs no translation. When was the last time you saw a foreign language porn flick with subtitles? One doesn't really need to understand the language to follow the plot line in a porn flick. And their stage direction is mostly just:
In!
Out.
In!
Out.
In!
Out.
In!
Out.
Actor 1 moans...

Re:The 'net is pull, not push, technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789391)

Unless the stage directions include:
Poop.
Eat!

"Come mi mierda... Si, en tu baca, mas, mas!"

2girls1cup ftw!

If the US wants to discourage Iranians from using anticensorship software, they would need to include some sort of backdoor to redirect all google queries with the keywords "middle east woman naked" to goatse.cz... or mfxvideo.com... or urineforatreat.com...

What about the other countries? (4, Informative)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788821)

No mention of the U.K., Germany, or Australia which are also implementing blocking technologies? Very western of us to ignore the other supposed free countries.

Re:What about the other countries? (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788973)

But those people who want to bypass those filters are just trying to score child porn and do eviiiiiiiiiiiil terrorist things.

Re:What about the other countries? (2, Insightful)

mrops (927562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790177)

Well, you got it all wrong.

UK, Australia and Germany are doing it for the good of the people, if the government wouldn't protect them, then who will?

China and Iran on the other hand are suppressing freedom and liberty.

Will someone think of the children!

Falun Gong a spiritual movement ? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788897)

"the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that has been suppressed by the Chinese government since 1999"

Falun Gong [apologeticsindex.org] . Do we need yet another weird cult added to the very long list [watchman.org] of those already available. Something for everyone. What was wrong with the weird cults of yesteryear? Long live Mao and down with hegemony of running dogs for western capitalists exploiters.

Re:Falun Gong a spiritual movement ? (in fact) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789769)

The Chinese communist party has gone to every length to make the western world consider Falun Gong [faluninfo.net] as strange/dangerous. Is it working? China has a very long history of spiritual teachings from the Buddhist school, and Falun Gong has adhered to non violence in the face of torture/killing for 10 years. I, for one, am ready to support human rights and freedom of belief for anyone who's not harming other people in the process, and Falun Gong has been exemplary in this regard. Look it up. [theepochtimes.com]

Obviously, this won't work... (2, Insightful)

denelson83 (841254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788901)

...in North Korea, where the Internet is simply prohibited altogether.

Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (2, Informative)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27788959)

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789503)

Yeh right, you're looking at a chinese communistic website. And you believe them?

That self immolation, was a setup by the CCP only to frame Falun Gong. When you look at the pictures and look at the way they are sitting, you can see that they are not falun gong practioners. They sit like chinese militairy people, not like practioners...

It has been explained totally in the movie false fire: http://www.falsefire.com/

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (1)

Main Gauche (881147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789505)

Not to mention D&D and heavy metal music.

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (not) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789641)

We're not really going with what's published in the "People's Daily", are we? That's exactly why this software needs to exist in the first place.

Falun Gong teaches against killing and against suicide. The Chinese communist party pumps out stories saying whatever serves their agenda. Google "False Fire" and catch up on that one.

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789757)

No matter how fucked up the Falun Gong religion is, (or how fucked up you are led to believe it is), it doesn't justify what the Chinese government is doing to them.

There is a Holocaust going on, and the world isn't paying attention.

Imagine if the US gov't rounded up all Mormons and started selling their organs.

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27790245)

I can actually see that happening within the next decade.

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789801)

A news article published by the People's Daily is proof?

Re:Falun gong? Those suicidal ones? (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790205)

From google cache:

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:d3NzsFRIiU4J:english.peopledaily.com.cn/200103/20/eng20010320_65533.html+falun+gong+suicides&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

IMHO Some things should be outlawed.

You are more wrong about this issue than can be excused as innocent error.

So, *plonk*. I'm done listening to you, at least in this life.

That's great news for Iranian Muslims! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789057)

Now they can use upcoming.com to find out about stonings of women that have been raped and use craigslist to sell off their eight-year-old kids to 50-year-old men like the Muslim men in countries without Internet censorship...

Radio free world (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789083)

It's funny how certain kinds of people praise the defiance of authority like this but admonish those who defeat filters in school to access controversial information. They force their public schools and libraries to install buggy censorware which has been demonstrated time and time again to block legitimate but incorrectly categorized information.

Heck, the Australian and German governments filter their entire countries, for ostentatious "think of the children" reasons, but all it takes is a flip of a switch for it to go political. Neither country historically has much of a problem with certain kinds of political censorship.

How long ago was it that we had Republicans telling us to watch what we say?

We need a pan-national dedication to transparency and the free flow of information. The people who scream about Iranian and Chinese injustice the loudest are also some of the worst censors at home. The free world won't be until we hold our own people accountable.

Re:Radio free world (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789763)

It's funny how certain kinds of people praise the defiance of authority like this but admonish those who defeat filters in school to access controversial information.

Indeed it is. A sword can be a useful tool whether it is wielded by a patriot, a terrorist, a hero, or a tyrant. People who advocate for censorship and I say censorship NOT reasonable restraints (i.e. no porno billboard in sight of the elementary school) are being foolish or un-American or both.

The people who scream about Iranian and Chinese injustice the loudest are also some of the worst censors at home.

It is frequently the case that those who seek most fervently to ban, censor, and demonize are often themselves guilty of the same "crimes" for which they are so quick to condemn others. This has been shown time and again (i.e. the homophobic firebrand who is himself an "in the closet" homosexual) with numerous politicians, actors, and others who live their lives in the public eye.

Re:Radio free world (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790267)

U.S. government support for circumvention software must stop! A top to bottom review must be initiated and the responsible officials sacked and prosecuted!! Won't some one think of the children?!!!

Cyberwar - just more newspeak if you ask me (1)

ensiferius (999312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789351)

It's ironic that the Times article quotes Orwell.

"Blocking such groups has become more insidious as Internet filtering technology has grown more sophisticated. As with George Orwell's "Newspeak," the language in "1984" that got smaller each year, governments can block particular words or phrases without users realizing their Internet searches are being censored."

A couple of years ago the Times did another story on how The Voice of America has been engaged in creating newspeak: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/washington/31voice.html [nytimes.com]

"Using a 1,500-word vocabulary and short, simple phrases" Oh and don't forget to add some good old fashioned censorship. "A 1948 law prohibits Voice of America from broadcasting in the United States"

But some listeners, like Ali Asqar Khandan, 36, an assistant professor from Tehran, said Special English seemed like "a special program for advertising American life and culture, not a simple radio station for broadcasting news or teaching English."

No need to broadcast it here anyway.

We'll let you know what should and should not be censored thank you very much.

Can somebody please pass the kool-aid?

this is so cool (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789353)

well done Falun Gong and Iranian geeks.

Bah (0, Flamebait)

bikehorn (1371391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789369)

'Suppose we have the capacity to make it possible for the president of the United States at will to communicate with hundreds of thousands of Iranians at no risk or limited risk? It just changes the world.'

What a pathetic example of typical Western arrogance. The usual "America is the best place in the world and everyone should want to be like us" bullshit. Fuck off and learn your place in the world already...what exactly is any Western leader going to say to the Irani population that would "change the world" ? Iranis are using anti-censorship tech to get access to information they want, which doesn't happen to be your propaganda message. Maybe you conveniently forgot but they still vividly remember how the US financed and supplied Saddam's war against Iran in which biological and chemical weapons were used. How about lifting your sanctions and shutting your hypocritcal cakehole about state sponsored terrorism when America supports Saudi Arabia and Israel, the two REAL biggest state sponsors of terrorism? Those actions would speak a lot louder than some pointless, hollow two minute webcast. That won't happen however...as they need both Saudi oil and the Jewish vote. For the US government, those two things are, figuratively speaking, as addictive and judgement-clouding as heroin.

Re:Bah (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790073)

This really shouldn't be modded flamebait, if anything it should be interesting because he brings up a lot of valid points.

Re:Bah (1)

tarunthegreat (746088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790077)

Mod parent up - this isn't flamebait, but a response to flamebait.

does Iran seriously censor Obama? (2, Insightful)

eean (177028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27789385)

I seriously doubt the Iranians censor much in the way of non-pornographic English material.

More death to America (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27789537)

After downloading videos of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and the Octomom, Iranians will probably turn off their computers and go outside to continue their "Death to America" chant!

China uses Falun Gong as organs (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790095)

Here is a speech by David Matas and David Kilgour (July 6, 2006) about their research that confirms that China has been using Falun Gong practitioners as organ inventory.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkf2u1Umzi4 [youtube.com]

Cake and eat it too (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790263)

So here is the deal. In the US I am responsible for the action users on my company Internet and Computers do. If someone hits an adult site, or even something simple as a tasteless joke can get me in trouble. If someone sneaks content onto a work PC, I am responsible. That is USA Law and/or case law.

So the category anonymous Internet is blocked.

So if the US gets behind bypass technology such as this, where do I sit? If a person on my network bypasses my Internet filtering by using sanction USA bypass technology and puts illegal/questionable content on his PC and a co worker is offend, who is legally responsible? I am, of course.

Interesting, but risky (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27790323)

In China most Falun Gong supporters just get harrassed and maybe jailed.

Iran tends to just execute people by rather brutal methods.

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