Using tools to promote internet freedom
A number of people who are concerned about the state of the internet and surveillance are coming together to help promote better access for those in some of the most restricted parts of the world.
One of best parts of the Internet is its collaborative nature. Be it the simple sharing of websites or projects that involve cooperation from all corners of the globe, cyberspace is one of the few ways in which people can connect almost instantaneously.
However, due to some political environments, not everyone is able to engage in this sort of team work. In China for instance, heavy firewalls prevent most users in the country from gaining access to a lot of the content not hosted within the country's borders, such as Facebook or Wikipedia. Those who are able to circumvent these limitations often do so through sometimes unreliable proxy sites.
Activists ban together
Fortunately, many concerned citizens are coming together in order to make the Internet free and accessible to more users.
Pando Daily reported that one instance of this can be seen in the gathering of "Internet evangelists" in Manhattan at an event hosted by the Open Internet Tools Project. The people who attended the event came from all walks of life including researchers, students and professors.
Open ITP is an organization aimed at making the internet more open for users from around the world. At the event, a new software called Lantern was presented to the attendees. It was created by former Limewire engineer Adam Fisk, and allows users in non-censored countries to pair up with those in countries like China or Iran where internet censorship is strong.
One of the more controversial elements of the project is that is in part funded by the State Department, according to the news source. Fisk pointed out that ideally this would not be the case given the recent spying allegations within the country.
Google works towards similar goals
The Lantern project is somewhat small and still in the developmental stages, but these kinds of efforts can be seen throughout the industry. RT reported that Google has been working on developing a similar tool known as uProxy. It would allow users from unrestricted countries such as the U.S. to provide an encrypted internet access point to a trusted user in another part of the world.
Through these kinds of programs, collaboration over the Internet, along with other basic forms of access to content would be possible for those who otherwise would have difficulty.