Censors need not apply

I am disgusted with Internet censorshop (and the complicity of U.S. firms in it) and therefore delighted to read in a  New York Times article that, on December 1, computer scientists at the University of Toronto will release a program called psiphon (pronounced “SY-fon”) that I gather will be a sort of peer-to-peer way for people in censored countries to access unfiltered content through cooperative hosts in uncensored nations. Here’s a snip from the Times:

“Psiphon is downloaded by a person in an uncensored country (psiphon.civisec.org), turning that person’s computer into an access point. Someone in a restricted-access country can then log into that computer through an encrypted connection and using it as a proxy, gain access to censored sites. The program’s designers say there is no evidence on the user’s computer of having viewed censored material once they erase their Internet history after each use.” 

Thanks to Ronald Deibert, director of the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, and his team for creating this workaround.

 * * *

Let the sunshine: A late tip of the hat to The Sunshine Project a new effort based in Washington, D.C. that aims to enable citizens in the United States — where the censorship is a function of ignorance, laziness or inattention — to better control their own government. Sunlight recently won an award from the Deutsche Welle Best of the Blogs award — an international honor.

* * *

Podcast brochure: If you’re trying to wrap your mind around how to podcast, or trying to convince others to join you in the effort, download the lovely 12-page brochure (free with registration) produced by the web services firm Akamai. It’s well illustrated and informative; something you can print and hand out, and use as a guide to acquiring further knowledge. I saw the reference on Paid Content which, coincidentally, won  the Deutsche Welle award for best English weblog.