Diary

Here's Your Chance to Support Iran!

As you may well know, the Iranian regime has recently been clamping down on all forms of dissent, including the dissemination of information online. Reformist newspapers have been shut down, opposition politicians have been censored, and all news deemed unfavorable to the ruling powers has been blocked by the regime’s internet filters.

What you might not know is that thousands of individuals have been working selflessly from outside of Iran to provide proxy IP addresses so that tech savvy Iranians can access the internet without being spied on or restricted in their browsing options by the state. Our ability to receive information from Iran and tell our friends and family there that the world stands in solidarity with their struggle has been largely dependent on this army of digital humanitarians.

Sadly, Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and their cronies have an army of their own dedicated solely to finding and eliminating all available proxy servers. They have been aided unwittingly by the same good samaritans who have made their proxy lists publicly available; the regime, unfortunately, has as much access to these lists as anyone else. Using all the resources at their disposal, Iran’s leaders have launched an offensive that has slowed the flow of information into and out of Iran to a mere trickle.

This week, a counteroffensive is being started. A programmer named Austin Heap announced recently on his blog (http://blog.austinheap.com/) that he and a friend have developed a program called Haystack that, once installed, “will provide completely uncensored access to the internet in Iran while simultaneously protecting the user’s identity” (http://blog.austinheap.com/…). Austin is not an amateur programmer; he has dedicated his entire life to IT and coding. In addition, he has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights of the Iranian people. You can read a recent article written about him by the San Francisco Chronicle here. He is a real-life superhero.

But he needs our help. In Austin’s most recent blog post (http://blog.austinheap.com/…) he has asked for donations to help the Haystack project move forward. If you can, please visit Austin’s PayPal page and contribute what you can. No amount is too small! $5, $10, $20 – it all adds up when thousands of us pitch in! We don’t need to feel powerless while the Iranian people struggle against tyranny. Together, we can help Iran get back online.

For more information on Austin Heap and the Haystack program, please visit these links:

1. http://cyrusfarivar.com/…

2. http://therumpus.net/…

For more information on the role being played by technology in this latest Iranian uprising, please visit the following links:

1. http://www.nytimes.com/…

2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/…

The best places for general information about what’s happening inside Iran are as follows:

1. http://niacblog.wordpress.com/

2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

For rumors and gossip (most of which is true):

1. http://iran.whyweprotest.net/…

2. http://hashtags.org/…

Please share this information with everyone you know so that we can aid our brothers and sisters inside Iran as they risk their lives for the sake of freedom and democracy!