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State Department Funds Shadow Internet Networks to Protect Free Speech Rights

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WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 – The U.S. State Department has acknowledged funding the establishment of independent “shadow” internet and cell-phone networks in countries with oppressive regimes, according to a Sunday New York Times article.

The effort is part of a broader “liberation technology movement” critical in the recent popular uprisings in Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria – the more recent events are commonly referred to as the “Arab Spring.” The liberation technology refers to the use of information technology to expand political, social, and economic freedom.

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