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US Tests System To Evade Foreign Web Censorship

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the worthy-objective dept.

Censorship 219

D1gital_Prob3 excerpts from a Reuters story that says "The US government is covertly testing technology in China and Iran that lets residents break through screens set up by their governments to limit access to news on the Internet. The 'feed over email' (FOE) system delivers news, podcasts and data via technology that evades web-screening protocols of restrictive regimes, said Ken Berman, head of IT at the US government's Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is testing the system. The news feeds are sent through email accounts including those operated by Google, Microsoft's Hotmail, and Yahoo. 'We have people testing it in China and Iran,' said Berman, whose agency runs Voice of America. He provided few details on the new system, which is in the early stages of testing. He said some secrecy was important to avoid detection by the two governments."

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Good thing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29063945)

China and Iran don't read slashdot.

Re:Good thing... (2, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 5 years ago | (#29064269)

Who cares about them finding out? I want to know when we can get it over here!

Right... (5, Funny)

Leonard Fedorov (1139357) | about 5 years ago | (#29063949)

So the obvious way to maintain such secrecy is have it posted to slashdot.

Re:Right... (2, Funny)

bluesatin (1350681) | about 5 years ago | (#29063959)

You mean you haven't realised that the rest of us on here are actually just chatbots?

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064041)

How does that make you feel?

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064071)

How does that make you feel?

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064181)

We were discussing you, not me.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064291)

Tell me more about disscussing you, not me.

Re:Right... (1)

patch0 (1339585) | about 5 years ago | (#29064449)

That explains why I feel like some of the trolls around here would fail a Turing test....

Re:Right... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29063991)

"D1gital_Prob3 excerpts from a Reuters story that says "

Yes, because if Slashdot didn't pick it up no one would have ever seen it on that Reuters thingy.

mod parent up (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | about 5 years ago | (#29064589)

Wish I had mod points today...

Re:Right... (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | about 5 years ago | (#29064025)

Well, reuters actually...

Re:Right... (1)

willyg (159173) | about 5 years ago | (#29064073)

So, let us all know how that "Security through Obscurity" thing works out for you. This incident looks like it'll could be case study in another year or so...

Re:Right... (1)

gnapster (1401889) | about 5 years ago | (#29064267)

Don't you see? This is part of their covert pen testing phase.

Re:Right... (4, Interesting)

gclef (96311) | about 5 years ago | (#29064303)

Well, they presented it just a couple weeks ago at DefCon [] , so apparently their right hand isn't quite on speaking terms with their left hand. There were some...pointed questions from the DefCon crowd, though, which they didn't have good answers for. One big concern for me, which I didn't see them address well: how do you bootstrap this? (Ie, why not just block downloads of the application itself, or arrest everyone who does download it?)

Re:Right... (0, Redundant)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#29064479)

No, Slashdot is made of _People_.

Slashdot... is... PEOPLE!!!!

Slashdot is /part/ of the system. (0, Redundant)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 years ago | (#29064599)


Congratulations (2, Informative)

yttrstein (891553) | about 5 years ago | (#29063981)

You've invented Listserv.

Re:Congratulations (1)

foksoft (848194) | about 5 years ago | (#29064381)

And how long it will take to update their SPAM filters?
Are they really so naive or is there something more in the technology?
Maybe the e-mails will be encrypted. But highly suspicious then.

Looking forward to see more details on this topic.

More uses... (5, Insightful)

Asmodai (13932) | about 5 years ago | (#29063989)

I am sure our Australian friends can make good use of this too in the near future...

Re:More uses... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 5 years ago | (#29064153)

The problem is that the technology is being introduced to subvert "unfriendly" governments, our present regime.... errr, government in Australia is about as friendly with the US as any nation ever gets.

Re:More uses... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 5 years ago | (#29064577)

I'm sure that our *American* friends can make good use of this too in the near future...

Re:More uses... (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 5 years ago | (#29064751)

I wonder if people can use this too in US-friendly repressive regimes, like Saudi Arabia. Or this is only for the "baddies"?

Re:More uses... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064877)

It was revealed a while ago that Richard Stallman doesn't browse the web. If he wants to read a particular page he sends a command to a server that retrieves the page and emails it to him (really!). At the time, he was roundly mocked on Slashdot. But now we see that, once again, he was in the vanguard, living the future.

2010 will be the year of the unkempt beard. Mark my words.

Re:More uses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064881)

Not to mention the UK, either.

We will be the 2nd place to take up the Aussies filters.
"Look, see it CAN be done, so BT, why haven't you done it yet? Hm hm hm? Get to it"

Censor this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29063999)

Slashdot is for fucking bastards.

Also see goatse.

Re:Censor this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064223)

Hey, fucking bastards are the best kind. Who wants a non-fucking bastard?

Business directory (-1, Offtopic)

webtusker (1618177) | about 5 years ago | (#29064003)

Pressure Vessels Richardson & Cruddas (1972) Ltd. A Government Of India Undertaking Sir J J Rd. Byculla Iron Works Mumbai,Maharashtra-400008 Mumbai - 400008 , Maharashtra Phone : (91) 22 23776832 Fax : (91) 22 23731491 Product & Services Aerators, Air Conditioners, Balls, Boosters, Calendering Machinery, Chemical Plant Machinery & Equipment, Chemical Plants, Clarifiers, Cold Rooms, Compressors, Coolers & Coolant Systems, Drums & Barrels, Electrical Contractors (industrial Installations), Engineering Consultants, Fans & Blowers, Filters, Strainers & Related Products, Food Machinery & Equipment, Freezers, Furnaces, Ovens & Kilns, Heat Exchangers, Mixers, Petrochemical Plants, Presses, Pressure Vessels, Process Plants, Pumps, Railway & Rail Carriage Equipment & Components, Refrigerators, Rubber Making & Rubber Working Machinery, Separators, Steel Fabricators, Steel Tubes & Tubing, Tank Fittings & Components, Tanks, Testing Services, Towers & Masts, Tubes & Tubing, Waste Water Treatment Systems, Water Treatment Systems & Equipment []

Dear US Government (4, Funny)

netsharc (195805) | about 5 years ago | (#29064011)

this looks like an interesting and useful technology for us, can we please have it too?


The US Citizens

Re:Dear US Government (4, Insightful)

FinchWorld (845331) | about 5 years ago | (#29064021)

Your assuming they aren't just using to let them access US Gov approved news, as opposed to the China/Iran Gov approved news they have now.

Re:Dear US Government (2, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#29064047)

this looks like an interesting and useful technology for us, can we please have it too? get news from outside the non-existent national firewall?

No (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 5 years ago | (#29064319)

to get news in such a way that the FBI does not know about it.

Re:No (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | about 5 years ago | (#29064447)

So, like, Google?

Sorry, I'm not really used to speaking with Tin-Foil-Hatters in person.

Re:No (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#29064703)

Even a public terminal would suffice to avoid the FBI, or a public wifi connection. Of course, the real fear in the U.S. is not the government, it's the corporations. Something like this would be great if we could use it to bypass ISP controls over the content we are seeing. The government couldn't care less what we look at on the interwebs as long as it isn't teaching us to be a terrorist or kiddie porn. The media corporations however, constantly try to keep us from accessing information, such as copyrighted material, put it behind pay-walls, make us pay to access certain sites (non net-neutrality).

The tin-foil hat crowd is out in force today -- don't you guys have some town-hall meetings to disrupt?

Re:Dear US Government (1)

ArwynH (883499) | about 5 years ago | (#29064657)

this looks like an interesting and useful technology for us, can we please have it too? get news from outside the non-existent national firewall?

Just because you don't know about it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist... []

Re:Dear US Government (1)

Shihar (153932) | about 5 years ago | (#29064511)

Right, because government censors constantly appear to block my Internet surfacing. Right. If you are in the US, I am pretty sure I could post a series of links to convince you that not only does the US government not censor the Intertubes, but that a man, a woman, a horse, a communist, and an anarchist can get freaky in kiddie pool of astro glide. The US sucks in a lot of ways, fanatical defense of free speech isn't one of them. The US trounces the shit out of the rest of the world, EU included. It isn't perfect, but it is certainly the best, and I have the Nazi midget porn to prove it.

Re:Dear US Government (1)

gstep (1583577) | about 5 years ago | (#29064737)

Your question might just be about a little ahead of its time. But it'll happen eventually.

I'm confused here (3, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | about 5 years ago | (#29064013)

US companies (OK not the government, but the government didn't exactly frown at them) help setup these filters for foreign countries. The US government itself sets up 'free speech zones' and practices increasing amounts of censorship within the US... and I'm to believe that they want to genuinely promote free speech outside the US?

Re:I'm confused here (5, Insightful)

Demonantis (1340557) | about 5 years ago | (#29064029)

Exactly the US government's interest is in not in that they get news, but the news that they will get.

Re:I'm confused here (1)

griffjon (14945) | about 5 years ago | (#29064107)

And correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like "web over email," and of course there's already TOR. It smells of a propaganda tool more than honest free access to information.

Re:I'm confused here (3, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 5 years ago | (#29064809)

Citizens in Iran and China are tired of the official, government approved information. Now they can also access official, US government approved information. Cool.

Re:I'm confused here (2, Informative)

JumperCable (673155) | about 5 years ago | (#29064271)

Hard to say. If the program allows the individual to select their sources of news feeds & the US government does not hinder what they see then you accusation would be unfounded in this instance.

Here is the big problem with avoiding censorship. It's a cat & mouse game. As soon as you find a method to circumvent a type of censorship, a suppressive government entity will try to find a way to either block it (or in some cases like Iran, just identify who is using it and block the user the old fashioned way).

If you are curious to see what the global community (non-government based) is doing to assist Iranians have free open access to the internet check out []

Re:I'm confused here (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 5 years ago | (#29064785)

Exactly. Is a "I think I can get away with it" really worth it, if the punishment for getting caught is years in jail, flogging or a death penalty? There are people I don't like, but besides moral reasons, I won't kill them because even though I think I can get away with it I value my freedom more than being rid of them.

Re:I'm confused here (1)

capt.Hij (318203) | about 5 years ago | (#29064347)

I agree. The weird thing about this is that even if they do not try to apply any filter and provide full, legitimate access then they make it very easy for the other government to demonize the use of proxies in general as tools of teh evil Amerika. They are implementing something that people in these other countries already know about and use but putting a big ole "USA" stamp on it.

Re:I'm confused here (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 5 years ago | (#29064545)

It's the appearance of Free Speech...but no more so than on our own soil.

Re:I'm confused here (2, Informative)

jlar (584848) | about 5 years ago | (#29064591)

Do you mean the US companies helped setup the filters in Iran? I thought that was European companies (Siemens and Nokia): []

In China american companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google censor their search engines and content.

Re:I'm confused here (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 5 years ago | (#29064753)

The US government just wants to make sure that they can get propaganda through. Does the government really care if Chinese kids can read about the latest Linsay Lohan scandal? Nope, but they do care to make sure every chinese iranian etc. thinks of the US as great without having to include Satan in the title.

Re:I'm confused here (2, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#29064955)

I support "free speech zones". If my city is hosting a political convention or some other controversial event, the last thing I want is a bunch of people shutting down the city services in "protest". They are free to organize their own little event and pay for the city services if they wish. "Free speech" doesn't mean "act like a douche".

Re:I'm confused here (2, Informative)

EricX2 (670266) | about 5 years ago | (#29065067)

Is there a newer story then this: []

Nokia: Finland
Siemens: Germany

Also, what does a company providing that technology have to do with whether or not the government approves it? If the government blocked companies from selling it, that would be censorship.

Covertly? (3, Funny)

necro81 (917438) | about 5 years ago | (#29064015)

The US government is covertly testing technology in China and Iran

Not covert any more.

Re:Covertly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064217)

pfft, there are only 1 billion people in China. What's the chances of one of them stumbling over this article.

Are you sure? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 5 years ago | (#29064357)

Just because it is announced does not mean that they know where or for what to look. There are LOADS of US secrets announced and right out in the open. BUT because it is wrapped in half truths, it is not seen for what it is.

So perhaps these governments are right... (2, Insightful)

master_p (608214) | about 5 years ago | (#29064061) wanting censorship. Otherwise, why would another government be interested in evading it?

Re:So perhaps these governments are right... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 5 years ago | (#29065377)

This is quite true. Look at the propaganda they feed their own citizens. There's absolutely no telling what kinds of mischief our awesome CIA is up to over there.

If I were running a government, I'd consider this an act of war, and would appeal the UN for sanctions.

Maybe for me its a 'Star Trek' thing, but those cultures support their governments. They are, at least in the case of China, in favor of censorship. So let them decide. Who are we to prop up dissidents and meddle in their affairs?

Particularly, when we are vigorously prosecuting those who do the same for our stated enemies, the terrorists.

AP and other IP based companies? (1)

tacarat (696339) | about 5 years ago | (#29064067)

Will the government be making sure ads are also escaping censorship or will they be paying for the content they're sneaking in? If the ads are going to be left in, will they be made for the Chinese population? If it's stuff it owns, like the Stars and Stripes or Voice of America, will they get as many views?

Re:AP and other IP based companies? (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | about 5 years ago | (#29065287)

Actually, I think these press releases *are* the ads. I'm quite sure China has a rather large IT crowd, and a part of it likely is opposed to censorship as well and already knows how to evade the great firewall. Now, through articles like this one, they obtain info about this system (be it through first- or second hand), which probably can easily be used by less tech-savvy people as well and spread it (because less-than-tech-savvy people might still be interested in access to free news, after all).

StallmanNet, then? (1)

Animaether (411575) | about 5 years ago | (#29064113)

Didn't RMS claim somewhere that the way he browses the web is sending an e-mail to some machine, which then grabs the content, and e-mails it back to him?

Re:StallmanNet, then? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29064207)

Yup, and it's quite an old idea. There used to be an app for the Psion Series 3 that did this too. The machine didn't have a native web browser, but if you bought the modem it came with a mail client, and there was a service you could use to get web pages as plain text (or possibly RTF). Back then, web pages didn't have frames or stylesheets and only had a few tags for text markup and occasionally images (but most people browsed with images turned off by default, because they took too long to load) so you didn't lose much.

Re:StallmanNet, then? (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 5 years ago | (#29064501)

Arguably, you wouldn't lose much today either.

Re:StallmanNet, then? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29064567)

Still, it would be kind of silly to load Firefox, navigate to Gmail and proceed to request web pages over email.

Good stuff, but... (5, Informative)

damburger (981828) | about 5 years ago | (#29064117)

If this system is run by the US government, will they apply their own censorship? []

the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) invented a way to let people in China and Iran easily route around censorship by using a U.S.-based service to view banned sites such as BBC News, MIT and Amnesty International. But an independent report released Monday reveals that the U.S. government also censors what Chinese and Iranian citizens can see online. Technology used by the IBB, which puts out the Voice of America broadcasts, prevents them from visiting Web addresses that include a peculiar list of verboten keywords. The list includes "ass" (which inadvertently bans, "breast" (, "hot" ( and, "pic" ( and "teen" (

But it gets better...

Instead, the list unintentionally reveals its author's views of what's appropriate and inappropriate. The official naughty-keyword list displays a conservative bias that labels any Web address with "gay" in them as verboten--a decision that affects thousands of Web sites that deal with gay and lesbian issues, as well as, a Roman Catholic site. More to the point, the U.S. government could have set a positive example to the world regarding acceptance of gays and lesbians--especially in Iran, which punishes homosexuality with death.

So oppressed homosexuals in Iran found themselves circumventing the Iranian government only to be thwarted by the US government. But that isn't even the best bit.

In an e-mail to the OpenNet Initiative on Monday morning, Berman defended the concept of filtering as a way to preserve bandwidth. "Since the U.S. taxpayers are financing this program...there are legitimate limits that may be imposed," his message said. "These limits are hardly restrictive in finding any and all human rights, pro-democracy, dissident and other sites, as well as intellectual, religious, governmental and commercial sites. The porn filtering is a trade-off we feel is a proper balance and that, as noted in your Web release, frees up bandwidth for other uses and users."

Yes, there are legitimate limits to what taxpayers should cough up for - and I think helping a foreign government keep its gay population from accessing the wider international community most definitely falls into that category!

Re:Good stuff, but... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 5 years ago | (#29064343)

Even the summary said they are trying to limit this system's ability to be used to browse through porn. And I agree, this isn't some proxy for foreigners to surf for porn. There is no perfect filter so unfortunately some legitimate sites are going to get caught in the net.

Re:Good stuff, but... (1)

damburger (981828) | about 5 years ago | (#29064777)

Why is it important to spend taxpayer money adding a porn filter to such a scheme, when most US taxpayers undoubtedly don't care whether or not people abroad watch porn, and when it will, as has been shown in the past, block access to legitimate sites that are highly relevant to people being denied Internet access across the world?

Even at your national border, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064143)


It's a bit spooky that this is a project of the US gubmint.

This can help others as well (1)

houghi (78078) | about 5 years ago | (#29064147)

This can help others where they can not see the content from the US. Hulu and others come to mind. Oh right, it isn't censorship if it isn't done by the government.

Re:This can help others as well (4, Informative)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 5 years ago | (#29064363)

This can help others where they can not see the content from the US. Hulu and others come to mind. Oh right, it isn't censorship if it isn't done by the government.
Hulu has not been granted the license to distribute some content beyond the U.S. In some cases those distribution rights have been given to other entities, in other cases the rights may have been more expensive than Hulu wanted to pay, given the limitations of global-play ad sales.. In all cases, it was a business decision. Information may "want to be free," but network television does not. To even imply "censorship" is just ignorant.

Good for them... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 5 years ago | (#29064157)

Finally our government is helping others dis-empowered by their own government, and allowing them to be able to bypass any sort of government imposed oppression on the people. Although this could be considered treason if you twist it one way, say...if it was done in the US, and the oppressed were the ones being held for terrorism, but you know what i mean!

I knew someone that could not use their computers to chat (msn, skype) with their wife back in Syria, and the long distance was through the roof. I told him not only about Tor, but also that these were not the only chat apps, and that I could provide something
that was not know to anyone to be able to block it, running on port 80.

Sure enough, he is now using this program, and has no long distance, and able to lead encrypted conversations without fear of being
snooped on.

ok, good idea, but (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#29064167)

FOE is your acronym? couldn't they have called the system SPECTRE or ENEMY? (Special Propaganda Emulsifying Communication Targetting Regime Email or Email Normalizing Exchange of Missives Y'know)

someone fire the acronym guy please. learn public relations 101: its not assassination, its neutralization. its not violent overthrow, its regime change. its not obamacare, its euthanize the downs syndrome and the elderly. geez, this stuff should be easy

Re:ok, good idea, but (1)

jshackney (99735) | about 5 years ago | (#29064569)

Fraternal Order of Eagles? I thought that was a drinking club.

This is an awesome idea... but (1)

Vovk (1350125) | about 5 years ago | (#29064187)

Does it run NetBSD?

*Brick smack to the head*

okok... but seriously. It's a good idea, but who put this on slashdot? I'm going to guess that at least 1 chinese censorship officer reads stuff on this website.


He said some secrecy was important to avoid detection by the two governments.

good job upholding that secrecy.

This maybe not enough (2, Interesting)

xizhi.zhu (1499631) | about 5 years ago | (#29064215)

For a real success, they should be runnable for all email accounts, not only those using Gmail, etc. The reason is that China or Iran may simply block those providers (and it's true that China has blocked several services of Google). Also, encryption is needed, as China now filters all the traffic, including SMTP, POP3, IMAP. Moreover, it should be quite easy for the end users.

Thin end of the wedge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064239)

First they test their filtering proxy with the Chinese and Iranians. Once the beginning problems are ironed out, they roll it out to Australia and the UK, and soon after in the US itself. Of course on a "voluntary" basis first, carefully registering those who do not volunteer...

Unintended consequences (5, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29064247)

How will this NOT lead to governments banning email from foreign countries

(That's foreign to them)
All this will achieve is even greater restrictions, until ultimately countries' censors will be operating entirely autonomous, independent, local versions of what was once referred to as The World Wide Web and just so that they can put their version of the facts in front of a small minority of people in other countries who might just care.

Re:Unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064683)

hey, it will kill Spam, too!

Re:Unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064771)

then we will create a sub-network, crypted, encapsulated over multiple protocols, and open.
i'm all for that moment

Re:Unintended consequences (2, Insightful)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 5 years ago | (#29064813)

They are not going to block email from other countries. The world is interconnected. Every country relies on the rest of the world for its economy to do well (imports and exports). Since email is now just about imperative to do business anywhere, they will not completely block it. They could, though, restrict which people can use email, or receive it from other countries.

Symmetry ? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064255)

Disclaimer: I'm not a US citizen (and my English is terrible).

So the US govt is providing ways for foreign citizens to access content that is considered illegal in their countries...
What would be the US govt reaction if some other country provides a way for US citizens to access content that is illegal in the US ?

Re:Symmetry ? (2, Informative)

Shihar (153932) | about 5 years ago | (#29064601)

So the US govt is providing ways for foreign citizens to access content that is considered illegal in their countries...
What would be the US govt reaction if some other country provides a way for US citizens to access content that is illegal in the US ?

Exactly what it is currently doing? Nothing. Surfing from the US I have never had a government firewall block my access. What could a foreign government possibly do when the the US government does absolutely nothing? The US government only reacts to illegal content, it doesn't make any attempt to censor it. Further, its definition of "illegal" is pretty narrow. If you trade in kiddie porn, you might provoke the US to try and arrest you. Otherwise, the only danger the US government poses is that companies can use their courts to try and impose our insane copyright laws. There is a pretty limited class of illegal things you can do on the intertubes in the US. Censorship isn't the worry. Lawsuits are.

Re:Symmetry ? (1)

operator_error (1363139) | about 5 years ago | (#29064625)

Since they can't really censor content, the most they CAN do is monitor it, if it is something like terrorist chatter, kiddie porn, etc. But I am not a lawyer; just a technician.

Generally we arrest the creators (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 years ago | (#29064651)

if they ever enter the US. Otherwise the US Gov just complains.

Re:Symmetry ? (3, Insightful)

dword (735428) | about 5 years ago | (#29064661)

What would be the US govt reaction if some other country provides a way for US citizens to access content that is illegal in the US ?

Such as copyrighted material which is legally downloadable in some parts of the world but not in the US?

I don't want to turn this into another discussion about copyright, but what happened with TPB is the answer to your question.

Re:Symmetry ? (3, Informative)

cpghost (719344) | about 5 years ago | (#29064687)

Such as copyrighted material which is legally downloadable in some parts of the world but not in the US?

There's a precedent already: the US government used its leverage in the WTO to strongarm Russia to ban AllOfMp3.

Precedents? (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about 5 years ago | (#29064961)

Aren't some U.S. authorities taking action against online gambling sites?

So we have a fairly short list of things that can get you in trouble in the U.S. - kiddie porn can get you prosecuted, gambling can result in forfeitures, and downloading copyrighted material can get you sued. Only the first two are directly caused by government action; in the last case, the government is merely complicit.

Can anybody think of any more?

I'd say we have it pretty good in the U.S. It could be better, though.

Re:Symmetry ? (1, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 5 years ago | (#29064905)

No, it's OK for the West to interfere in any country they please, because the West is the sole righteous Holder of The Absolute Truth (TM) and if you don't agree, you must be a Freedom Hating Commie Terrorist (TM) and be sent to some shithole to be re-educated by waterboarding.

Re:Symmetry ? (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | about 5 years ago | (#29065169)

I think we know the answer to that, just look at the fate of the ( non American ) owners of gambling websites not based in America but accessible to American citizens. I believe the US caused them to be arrested and brought to "justice" in the US.

Censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064275)

Well... U.S. all against censorship but still censoring some shit like Pandora and Hulu... Very Clever!

Won't work (1)

knutkracker (1089397) | about 5 years ago | (#29064287)

I can't see this being very popular. If people care enough to sort out an external news source to email them, then they care enough to set up a proxy or VPN. Why settle for someone else's choice of news to be mailed to you when you can go and get your own?

The issue is not whether the censors can be evaded, it's the cost/benefit of bothering. Most people don't care enough to try [] .

Not helpful. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064327)

In the meantime, everyone in those countries will continue to use Tor, I2P, and hacked proxy servers.

American News (3, Funny)

claybugg (1496827) | about 5 years ago | (#29064341)

Ohhh. I hope we're sending them links to great, unbiased American news sources like CNN and Fox News. Those folks will be enlightened in no time!

the irony (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 5 years ago | (#29064365)

Isn't it ironic that western governments are developing systems to circumvent Internet censorship, while at the same time deploying censorship infrastructure and laws?

There's probably a good joke somewhere in there.

Re:the irony (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 5 years ago | (#29064505)

These are countries that have no problems with providing arms to both sides of a conflict.. so providing both censorship and the means to defeat it is business as usual.

As you hear sometimes.. follow the money - the truth is there.

Re:the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064811)

There's probably a good joke somewhere in there.

There used to be, but the government won't let me say it in public......

Oh the delicious irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29064385)

It's like a layer cake of irony. A delicate, delicious thousand layer spice cake.

I'm hungry for spekkoek now.

Usenet? (1)

ewilts (121990) | about 5 years ago | (#29064593)

Sounds like a Usenet to email gateway to me!

Circumventing Laws (3, Insightful)

quatin (1589389) | about 5 years ago | (#29064765)

Why is the IBB intentionally trying to circumvent other countries laws? I'm all for net neutrality, but I understand that other countries have their own cultures and their own political spheres that is complex and not easy for us to understand. We can't even understand half the things our own government does. However, when was it policy to help citizens of other countries to break their own laws? What's the point of this other than to infuriate foreign governments? Amusement? And lastly, if it is our policy to infuriate foreign governments and prod them with a 4000 mile stick. We should send "semi-collector grade" samurai swords to Britain. I heard their parliament is so afraid of ninjas they banned samurai swords in an effort to prevent a ninja-takeover of London.

Technolody provided by Siemens Nokia Networks? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 years ago | (#29064805)

TFA did not mention who provided the technology. Wouldn't it be a hoot and a half, if it was Siemens Nokia Networks?

They're the folks that provided Iran with the filtering technology in the first place.

That would be an excellent double-dipping business strategy: sell one side the stuff to close off the net; sell the other side stuff to open it up again.

Repeat until your pockets are full.

Anti-Censorship (1)

TheLeopardsAreComing (1206632) | about 5 years ago | (#29064851)

Hell Yeah! It should always be up to the user to censor themselves... not some organization with an agenda (whatever that may be)

Back in the day - email2web2email (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about 5 years ago | (#29065041)

Where I work had, in the early days of the web, a policy that only the chosen few could journey via http outside our firewall. We could get email from anywhere, though.

I used to make much use of email-to-web servers. You sent an email to a particular address. You included the URL you wanted on the subject line. The receiving server would fetch the web page and email it back to you. I don't remember the server that I used the most but I do remember that it was in the .jp domain.

When the censorship in Iran popped up, I went looking for those servers. They don't seem to exist anymore.

Maybe they're no big loss. They're really only useful for static html or really simple pages, anyway. But I can't help think that they might have some limited utility in routing around censorship, even today.

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