View Full Version : White House quietly funding shadow Internet for dissidents abroad

06-12-2011, 02:13 PM
White House quietly funding shadow Internet for dissidents abroad (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/world/12internet.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all)

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”

Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet...

...The State Department, for example, is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.

In one of the most ambitious efforts, United States officials say, the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country. It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, seemingly at will.

The effort has picked up momentum since the government of President Hosni Mubarak shut down the Egyptian Internet in the last days of his rule. In recent days, the Syrian government also temporarily disabled much of that country’s Internet, which had helped protesters mobilize.


06-12-2011, 03:05 PM
And Americans wonder why non-Americans hate us so much.

Regardless of the potential positive aspects, imagine if a foreign country was funding this inside of the United States. Would we be OK with a foreign country funding the means to overthrow of our government? Would we be OK if Russia or China was funding an internet and cellular system inside of the U.S. that they controlled with the specific purpose of helping to overthrow our government?