U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors
13-Jun-2011 (11 comments)

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 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.

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Very good start

by hirre on

I wonder if some of the suitcases will be fitted with a satellite connection aswell or must there always be separate suitcases located in a friendly neighbouring country to share internet access.

Although this will make sharing of information a lot easier there is still a problem of how to access the World Wide Web. In the case of Iran you would need to set up many points with large antennas across the border to Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey etc and then building secret "tower" networks... They could easily be targeted.

Therefore it is better if the US would also set up satellite modems so that you could build a network e.g. in Teheran where out of e.g. 100 access points, there would be about <5 points that would have WWW access through satellite modems. Unfortunately the modems are expensive (~$4000) and you also have a cost of $5/Mbyte.
In the case of Iran I don't think it would be feasible to set up nodes
along the borders and then building inwards, the country is just too

One cheaper solution could be if e.g. 10 out of the 100 nodes were running encrypted proxies through the normal government internet infrastructure so that they in turn could share the WWW to the rest of the nodes...That would be the fastest and cheapest starting solution.


Long live FREEDOM, Long live DEMORCRACY

by Siavash300 on

That is a great news. It is crystal clear that democracy will ultimately prevail throughout Middle East. I feel the breeze of freedom in my homeland follwoing this invention.


Really?! Which Should I Believe, The Rooster's Tail, or The Fox?

by Piyalechi on

I am not so sure if I want to shower the Obama administration with accolades in that regards, just yet.

In fact, I'd like to share my oppinion that this recent hoopla about spending our tax money for this administration to come out and look like a caring freedom of internet and connectivity hero stinks of utter hypocrisy, if not down right incompetence in managing a government where one department doesn't know what the other is doing.

I'm sorry, I don't want to raise a stink here, but the facts speak for themselves, and once again I find myself feeling the same nasty frustration that I felt over a year ago when Obama supposedly signed an Executive order easing internet restrictions against Iran... 

Let me be clear: For six years now there has been a Department of Treasury rule in effect, as part of the sanctions against Iran, that mandates AMERICAN internet hosting companies to close their IP's to Iran. Godaddy.com is one of them. 

You see Ladies and Gentlemen, to begin with, It is the US itself that is closing its virtual doors to Iranians; let alone any filter that the Islamic Republic may put on any foreign IP number.

Is the Obama administration not aware of this? Really?!...

If it is, why isn't it doing anything about it ??

What kind of sense would it make not to remove the blocks that American internet companies have to put on their own IP's and have them inaccessible to Iranians, while with the same breath we're tooting our look-at-me-I'm-a-hero horns and anouncing with such fanfare expenditure of millions of dollars to establish freedom of internet and connectivity?

I just finished talking to godaddy president's representative on the phone and he informed me, as he watched very carefully what he said, that the blocks are still in place on their IP's like they told me they were a year ago.

Here is my last email corresspondence with them, sent and recieved on April 2010:

Our Office of the President has responded to your request, details of which are described below:





Discussion Notes

Office of the President Response


Dear Mr. *******,

Thank you for inquiring about Go Daddy's policy with respect to the recent Executive Order regarding trade with Iran and Cuba.  Your question has been escalated to the Office of the President for response. 

Please be advised that U.S. government limitations on trade with Iran and Cuba remain in effect even following the recent Executive Order.  At this time, Go Daddy will continue to block both our corporate websites and our customers' hosted websites from being viewed in those countries, both as a security measure and in order to enforce compliance with the ongoing governmental prohibitions.  

Thank you again for your query.  Should there be any other matters with which our office may assist, please let us know.

Kindest Regards,

The Office of the President

Customer Inquiry Dear Support staff,

I am an American Citizen and I reside in **. The *****.com is my website here in the US and you, godaddy, host it. 

I want viewers in Iran to be able to see my website hosted in US by godaddy, without a proxy, which they still can not. 

The problem started in 2005 when you, godaddy, placed the block on IP's so that it wouldn't be viewable in Iran, and you, goddady, told me so.

Now you say that there are "no issues with the operational status" of my account. While that could be that absolute truth, It does not say that the blocks you put on the IP's have been removed. Did you or anyone you know of in godaddy support, remove the block that prevented people from seeing my website before? If you did, when did you do that? because as of 3 or 4 days ago another godaddy member had informed me that the blocks on the IP's were still in place. we spoke on the phone and the conversation was taped at least at your end in Arizona.

Honestly, It looks like you are giving me the runaround.If the government of Iran had my site filtered, the trace rout action wouldn't finalize with godaddy's server host IP number! 

That's fine. I have been with godaddy for many years and when godaddy by government regulation banned my website and another that I admin - ****.com - from viewers in Iran, I did not put up a big protest. And after my renewal notice came from godaddy, I remembered that the law has changed and those blocks need be rmoved, which I asked and you replied you hadn't yet. 

I seriously am considering taking my business somewhere else and also starting an awareness campaign to my plight with godaddy. Godaddy may have a good reputation, but I am not convinced it wants to keep it.


**** *****

-----Original Message-----

If you need further assistance with this matter, please reply to this email or contact the Office of the President at (480) 505-8828 and reference [Inquiry ID: *********].

Office of the President - GoDaddy.com

14455 N. Hayden Rd., Ste. 226
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 505-8828
Fax: (480) 275-3975


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

The fact is that the kind of fundamental, long term research, which could result in groundbreaking technology  such as internet or cellular
system require massive amounts of invetment which could only come from governments and needs politicians backing.



VPK, I dont know about Mr Gore speceficaly, but

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

The fact is that the kind of fundamental, long term research, which could result in groundbreaking technology  such as internet or cellular system require massive amounts of invetment which could only come from governments and needs politicians backing. Since the WW2, defence industry has been the main recipient of such funding. 1980's and 90's saw a peak in defence related research and some of technology out of that era is simply amazing and have shaped the way we all live and communicate.

Looks like a subject for another blog, completely void of any reference to Islamist regime, for a change.  Dont you think? 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You are mostly right about the Internet but you made one mistake: Al Gore invented the Internet!

"Reality must yield to political bragging"


Not at all surprised.

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Given the fact, the internet technology as we know it today, spun off  a DOD research project of Reagan era, with clear objective of seamless, uninterrupted military communication even in the event of a nuclear war.  

The problem with prolific coppiers of technology, such as islamist regime is that the original Technology inventer is always a few steps ahead and has the upper hand as the result. Just think stucknet....

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Artificial Intelligence


by Artificial Intelligence on

IRI will ultimately lose the batlle!

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I am glad Obama is doing the right thing once again. I was pretty dubious of Obama but now I have more confidence in him.

Anahid Hojjati

Sounds interesting.

by Anahid Hojjati on



Oh dear

by ComraidsConcubine on

 We'll just have to wait for another Wikileaks to tell us what is really going on, just before the next Wild Wild West shootalong.