Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cyber Activism

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marching in support for the presidential opposition candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi.

"The crackdown on communications began on election day, when text-messaging services were shut down in what opposition supporters said was an attempt to block one of their most important organizing tools. Over the weekend, cellphone transmissions and access to Facebook and some other Web sites were also blocked.

Iranians continued to report on Monday that they could not send text messages.

But it appears they are finding ways around Big Brother.

Many Twitter users have been sharing ways to evade government snooping, such as programming their Web browsers to contact a proxy — or an Internet server that relays their connection through another country.

Austin Heap, a 25-year-old information technology consultant in San Francisco, is running his own private proxies to help Iranians, and is advertising them on Twitter. He said on Monday that his servers were providing the Internet connections for about 750 Iranians at any one moment.

“I think that cyber activism can be a way to empower people living under less than democratic governments around the world,” he said."

Social networks bloom under duress

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