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U.S. Spreads Democracy Through Shadow Networks

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and Mobile phone systems that citizens of repressed governments can use to bypass censorship in their native countries. The initiative is funded with $2 million from a State Department grant and the Internet is deployed from a small briefcase.

The idea is to smuggle the briefcase (full of Internet) across the border and quickly set it up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the world wide web. This could be the first step out of many that gives people a greater freedom to step up against their government. The new liberation-technology movement involves creating these stealth wireless networks so activists can communicate outside their government’s ears in countries like Iran, Syria, and Libya.

The State Department and the Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers stationed on U.S. military bases.

This is the United State’s nonviolent way of spreading democracy and while it will likely anger the governments of the affected countries, it’s a much better alternative to war. I hope activists abroad take this empowering opportunity to stand up for themselves and organize on a massive scale.

Photo Courtesy of mag3737
Photo Courtesy of shapeshift