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[liberationtech] on the traceability of circumvention tools

Evgeny Morozov evgeny.morozov at
Wed Sep 15 21:54:28 PDT 2010

I'm no expert on Iranian politics but as a partial response to Mehdi - and
as a partial defense of my own concerns about the security of Haystack's
testers, I'll paste the following article from BBC Monitoring below.

It was originally published in the Iranian state-owned newspaper Iran in May
2010. To me, this article suggests that Haystack testers/users were seen by
the state as "agents of the US" and may have been at higher risks than those
who were using, say, Ultrasurf...This brings me to my favorite subject: how
the US government indirectly contributed to all this mess. If anything, it's
the US government's highly-publicized involvement that risks putting
everyone using circumvention tools in Iran at risk.


Iran newspaper, Tehran, in Persian, 10 May 10, p 3/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of short news report under "What Else is News" column headlined
"Attempt to offer superior anti-Iranian software to opposition" published by
Iranian newspaper Iran on 10 May

According to reports, the American "Censorship Research Centre" supported by
US government and under direct supervision of Hillary Clinton, the US
secretary of state, has planned to ask the Iranian opposition to send
information to the centre in which US is interested. The information should
be sent through a specific web software.

Earlier, a British state-owned media had informed about the distribution of
powerful filter-breaker internet software. It was programmed by an American
company for Iranian opposition inside the country. It is interesting to note
that two Iranian opponents of the Islamic Republic in America are assisting
the Censorship Research Centre in programming the software.

Abbas Milani and Karim Sajjadpur, advisers of Austin Hype [as published],
have offered their knowledge to design this anti-Iranian software to the
American government. In addition to the Iranian assistants, the Censorship
Research Centre has also established connection with some anti-state
elements and the so-called Green Movement inside. The centre has asked for
their opinion and the requirements to accomplish the work on Haystack
[anti-filter software] and its technical aspects. The software is being
programmed in the situation when recently two Republican senators - John
Cornyn and Sam Brownback [names as published] - in a draft sent to the
American Senate requested for the government's financial and technical
support to change the Iranian political system.

Credit: Iran newspaper, Tehran, in Persian, 10 May 10, p 3
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