April 05, 2004

Internet Freedom Tools

The debate is ongoing whether technology will be freedom enhancing or freedom denying. On the enhancing side, a BBC article about getting around the PRCs country sized firewall filters is useful. It seems like important work is going on to upgrade information access tools. Of course most people don't care to run the risk of accessing banned information but I believe that this is because the benefit is small while the potential consequences can be large.

But this risk/reward equation is not stable. In unsettled times, every citizen will have a choice, to go out on the streets and bring the government down or stay indoors and assent to another Tienanmen square massacre. At that point, having an established network of tools and techniques for gaining access to unfiltered, timely information will raise the rewards to a much higher level.

With free tools available in many locations and an exponential increase in the number of people willing to host proxies during such a crisis, it's at that crisis point that the worth of the dissident networks will be proven. But you can't start at the crisis point. You have to start now so you'll be prepared then. Nobody knows what shape or form this crisis will happen or when it will occur. But the best chance that freedom will have is for the dissidents to be ready for when the moment strikes.

Posted by TMLutas at April 5, 2004 09:29 AM