The invisible revolution is online
January 30th, 2012
04:45 PM ET

The invisible revolution is online

By Jamie Crawford, CNN's Security Clearance

Guided by an army of "geeks with a conscience," a network of digital activists, working mostly in the shadows, is emerging to challenge the restrictions of repressive governments around the world.

Sascha Meinrath is part of that army.

Working with a team of tech experts inside a nondescript building in downtown Washington, Meinrath is developing new technologies that could one day be used to evade government censors and secret police. "You can imagine any of the world's hot spots, and we have been contacted by people there," he told CNN.

With governments in Iran, Syria, Cuba and elsewhere around the world trying to clamp down on freedom of expression both in public and online, the march is on to put a stop to it.

Since coming into office, the Obama administration has actively supported the construction of detours around Internet censors in repressive environments like Iran and Syria, thereby enabling activists to communicate with each other, and organize, without the threat of surveillance by the very governments they are trying to subvert.

The administration has issued more than $70 million worth of grants to nongovernmental organizations developing technologies to assist activists inside repressive countries to stay connected, regardless of government efforts to keep them silent.

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Topics: Internet • Technology

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. George Patton

    How about the government here in America? Today, it is under the control of the MIC(military-industrial-complex) and unfortunately, the MIC has found a way to bring other countries under it's control, too!!! This gets scarier by the day!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  2. JAL

    Time for some laughter Fareed. Things are getting pretty rough.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    this site is jammed!

    January 31, 2012 at 7:16 am | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    This technology cuts both ways. police and intelligence forces will have a hard time to spy on criminals and terrorists.

    January 31, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
  5. Samuel (Sam) Getaneh Bogale Kathy Stumm-Bogale Calgary Alberta

    Technology has definitely forever changed the world we live in it can be argued for better and sometimes for the worse!

    January 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply

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