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August 14, 2009

U.S. tests technology to break foreign Web censorship

From Reuters:

BOSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. 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 U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is testing the system.
The news feeds are sent through email accounts including those operated by Google Inc, Microsoft Corp’s Hotmail and Yahoo Inc.
“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.
…The U.S. government also offers a free service that allows overseas users to access virtually any site on the Internet, including those opposing the United States.
“We don’t make any political statement about what people visit,” Berman said. “We are trying to impart the value: ‘The more you know, the better.’ People can look for themselves.”

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