Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Throwing Money at Internet Freedom

Jackson Diehl is concerned that, although money has been earmarked for use to subsidize sites that allow the residents of foreign nations to avoid state censorship, both the Bush and Obama Administrations have been slow to spend it. I can think of three reasons why that would be the case:
  1. Just because I claim to have a good system for helping people avoid state censorship doesn't mean I'm necessarily a good target for $millions in taxpayer dollars. A company offered those $millions is likely to take the money, sure, but it may not use the money wisely - or its backers may pocket the money and run.

  2. Just because a system is up and running doesn't mean that it's actually secure. Funding the wrong program could helptyrannical regimes identify dissidents.

  3. The U.S. Government is concerned that it would be subsidizing tools used by criminals and terrorists to operate in ways that avoid detection and impede tracing by U.S. authorities.

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