Phi Beta Iota: It is actually much worse than that. Our estimate of the cost of US being best pals with 42 of 44 dictators is closer to 500 billion, and that is a very conservative estimate. The cost is roughly divided between US taxpayer money being given away for the wrong reasons, and the “true cost” to the world–and ultimately to the USA–of an unethical, uninformed, unstrategic foreign policy that is in no way, shape, or form focused on creating a prosperous world at peace. Not to be naive, we realize that we have a government Of, By, and For the Banks and their Corporations. That is what needs to change, non-violently, on the basis of Internet Freedom and Freedom through the Internet. In passing, we are not amused when people steal our ideas and offer to help the US Government do for $3 million what we are doing for free. Three Internet Freedom URLs with links below the line.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed on Tuesday to invest $25 million for developers to build tools that will let online dissidents get around “thugs, hackers and censors.” It’s her attempt at giving teeth to the so-called “Internet Freedom Agenda” that she unveiled last year.
High Priority Free Software Projects: “The FSF high-priority projects list serves to foster the development of projects that are important for increasing the adoption and use of free software and free software operating systems.”
The list begins with “cheap, small, low-power plug servers,” Mr. Moglen said. “A small device the size of a cellphone charger, running on a low-power chip. You plug it into the wall and forget about it.”
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Put free software into the little plug server in the wall, and you would have a Freedom Box that would decentralize information and power, Mr. Moglen said. This month, he created the Freedom Box Foundation to organize the software.
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Social networking has changed the balance of political power, he said, “but everything we know about technology tells us that the current forms of social network communication, despite their enormous current value for politics, are also intensely dangerous to use. They are too centralized; they are too vulnerable to state retaliation and control.”
A startup is offering free encrypted voice and text communications to protesters in Egypt.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011 BY ROBERT LEMOS
MIT Technology Review
Two new applications for Android devices, called RedPhone and TextSecure, were released last week by Whisper Systems, a startup created by security researchers Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson. The apps are offered free of charge to users in Egypt, where protesters opposing ex-president Hosni Mubarak have clashed with police for weeks. The apps use end-to-end encryption and a private proxy server to obfuscate who is communicating with whom, and to secure the contents of messages or phone conversations. “We literally have been working night and day for the last two weeks to get an international server infrastructure set up,” says Anderson.
Anderson and Marlinspike are working with several nongovernmental organizations, such as MobileActive, to create a product that will be of use to other protesters. Of course, the software would not have helped when the Egyptian government took the unprecedented step of effectively shutting down both Internet and cellular communications across the entire country at the end of January.
This weekend I experienced a snowcrash; a moment where the seemingly disparate pieces of information floating in my head came together. A synapse fired, a new connection was made, and I was brought to a new level of consciousness, a new way of seeing the world. In reading this over, it almost sounds obvious, but it took me a while to get here. I hope that by sharing with you, it’ll help you “get it” too. So let me take you on my thinking trail.
Phi Beta Iota: With a Tip of the Hat to Michael Bauwens, the force behind the P2P Foundation and its growing Wiki on Open Everything, below are a few entries from a 20 Item List for Egypt that provides a model for preparing in advance for all other countries including the USA (recommended: by state and by the Nine Regions). This list does not include OpenBTS and solar-powered Internet hubs (each parish) with satellite communications uplinks (each diocese), for that read below the line.