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[liberationtech] Circumventing audio/podcast censorship?

Steven Clift clift at e-democracy.org
Fri Dec 22 07:42:10 PST 2017


In one of my private replies, http://greatfire.org was mentioned to me as a
leader in this space.

I've noted that I can use their FreeBrowser app on Android and stream audio
from this page - https://www.voachinese.com/a/4154308.html - in the US ...

So who can help me test if FreeBrowser can play this audio stream from
within China or other firewalled countries?

Also, it was noted to me that a big issue with proxies/vpns is who pays for
the bandwidth costs. I wonder who is paying for FreeBrowser's cost? Or is
FreeBrowser using a different technique?

As I sharpen my *possible* Internet Freedom Fund proposal by Jan 1, I could
see leveraging FreeBrowser and coupling that with a focus on the
aggregation/directory/discovery side of often blocked audio content and
convert the daily/weekly podcasts into "best of" audio streams organized by
languages.

This is a model for podcasts to streams:

https://science360.gov/radio/
https://science360.gov/radio/player/

This is a example stream of aggregated audio in Russian streamed online and
via satellite:

http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/2017/02/world-radio-network-russian-schedule.html

However, the audio file gathering and production side would need to be
fully automated and democratized so others can create their own mixes.

Because IFF requires open source, we'd build and share the code that does
the above with a web-based interface and add crucial low low bandwidth
streaming options to reach people at the fringes of connectivity and where
slowed by firewalls.

(Also anything transcoded into a lower bandwidth streaming versions may
need to seek copyright permissions. While podcasts played from their source
server via a web-player or app via a playlist from the source server BUT
bloated in file size wouldn't need permission as long as the open podcast
ecology system remains.)

As IFF asks for community approaches, I'd also support the convening if
those working on circumvention in audio/video formats.

Anyway, while the submission is not a sure thing, if you'd like to lend
your name and org as an adviser to the project, drop me a note at:
comments at 1radionews.com

Thanks,
Steven Clift

On Dec 18, 2017 10:43 AM, "Steven Clift" <clift at e-democracy.org> wrote:

> I received a couple of private replies from LiberationTech. Others?
>
> I am plotting a quick and possible proposal to this fund:
> https://www.opentech.fund/requests/internet-freedom-fund
>
> I know a lot about:
>
> 1. Live radio streams with news
> 2. News podcasts on-demand
> 3. The difficulty people have finding fresh (this hour's or this day's)
> news in audio.
> 4. Low cost app marketing and dev
> 5. My existing 1 Radio News app user base - http://1radionews.com - in
> all types of countries including repressive regimes
> 6. The missed opportunity to reach people in lower bandwidth places/3G by
> compressing audio on the fly
>
> What I don't know a lot about ... yet:
>
> 1. What news audio is and is not being blocked and where? (According to
> one China firewall checker BBC and VOA RSS podcast feeds are blocked but
> not NPR and CBC for example.)
>
> 2. How you might build proxies and VPNs into an app if attempts to connect
> are blocked?
>
> 3. The best set of open source tools for transcoding audio streams from 48
> kbps and higher down to 16 kbps AAC+? And where to cost effectively host
> the transcoding server(s)? (Ideally we'd have an existing code base to
> contribute enhancements back toward.)
>
> 4. Whether this fund has any interest in audio, how competitive it is to
> receive funding, etc.? (Is the effort to required to submit a proposal a
> waste of time?)
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Suggestions?
>
> Possible project advisors?
>
> Thanks,
> Steven Clift
> Radio app: comments at 1radionews.com
> NGO: clift at e-democracy.org
>
>
> On Dec 9, 2017 7:04 PM, "Steven Clift" <clift at e-democracy.org> wrote:
>
> I am considering and audio-related Internet freedom project.
>
> Some questions:
>
> 1. Does anyone know if the great firewalls of the world block lots of
> audio streams or podcasts? Who knows a lot about this?
>
> 2. Are there existing projects working to make censored audio more
> available to people under repressive regimes?
>
> 3. What are great examples of diaspora produced podcasts that are getting
> decent home country distribution?
>
> Thanks,
> Steven Clift
>
> P.S. The proposal would extend my 1 Radio News app - http://1radionews.com
> - beyond the English news from 65+ countries to additional languages and
> efforts to build access and use in less free countries.
>
>
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