Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
Or Starrs of Morning,
Dew-drops, which the Sun
on every leaf and every flouer
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
— that is all
Ye know on earth, and all
ye need to know.
E = M
Energy is eternal delight.
Impearls: A Defense for Endangered Bloggers in Authoritarian Lands
Item page — this may be a chapter or subsection of a larger work. Click on link to access entire piece.
Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit and others have frequently linked to articles discussing the plight of overseas bloggers and Interneters who are under attack and repression from authoritarian and tyrannical governments — for example, here, here, and here in the case of Iran; here, here, and here for China. Indeed, Reynolds closes the last of the foregoing pieces with the comment that “Somebody needs to catalog the tricks the Chinese bloggers are using — if the F.E.C. gets its way, we may need some of them over here….”
Given Reynolds' thus long-demonstrated history of interest in and support for beleaguered foreign bloggers, I'm quite mystified why he and other bloggers of like mind haven't publicized at all the service provided to endangered bloggers — as a result of an explicit contract to that effect from the Voice of America — by the Anonymizer company. I've let Glenn know about this on several different occasions, and even requested that he inform me if he has a good reason for not publicizing the information (so I could avoid doing so myself), but never got any reply back. Lacking such a reason, I'll now go ahead and do it myself.
It was Glenn, in fact, who in this posting from early this year pointed me at this Slashdot article entitled “Iran Cracks Down on Internet Sites.” As the piece says (follow the above link for links included within it):
This is terrific, I believe, and a wonderful way for Iranian and other seekers after freedom and democracy to circumvent mullah and other tyrannical rulers' attempted thought-constriction of the Internet. I wondered for a while if the posting was legitimate, but eventually noticed the Anonymizer press release bahamat points to above, which details the arrangement the company has with the Voice of America (notice the date on it, the day the Voice of America contract was let: 2003-09-11!). Following is an excerpt from that press release:
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Sept 11, 2003 – Anonymizer, Inc., a leading provider of anonymous Web surfing and online privacy protection, today announced new anti-censorship Web proxy services in Iran, enabling people to bypass government filtering and access information sources, including political and religious content. Currently, about two million citizens in Iran have Web access. Anonymizer has provided similar services to other countries, including China, with extremely positive results.
Back in the Slashdot thread, a couple of replies by other commenters are worthy of note. One replied:
I certainly agree with that. Another commenter asked:
Whereupon, bahamat replied:
I hate to pimp services as well, but bahamat's right about that.
(Note that I have no connection with Anonymizer.com, the VOA, or CIA for that matter.
But then disclaiming it proves it, right?)
UPDATE: 2009-09-30 13:00 UT: Boing Boing's Guide to Defeating Censorware has quoted and linked to this piece (as explained here), as also has the Chinese GFW Blog. Another mention in BoingBoing occurs here and here.
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