The New Republic: Hacking the Regime

September 3: “Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad like to blame the uprising in Iran on outside influences….But, for all the phantom rabble-rousers, there’s one outside influence that has actually helped shape events: the Falun Gong.
When dissident Iranians chatted with each other and the outside world, they likely had no idea that many of their missives were being guided and guarded by 50 Falun Gong programmers spread out across the United States. These programmers, who almost all have day jobs, have created programs called Freegate and Ultrasurf that allow users to fake out Internet censors….While it is hardly the only group to offer such devices, the Falun Gong’s program is particularly popular thanks to its simplicity and relative speed…
Indeed, the race to beat the Internet censors is a central battle in the global struggle for democracy–a cat-and-mouse game where the fate of regimes could rest in no small measure on the work of the Falun Gong and others who write programs to circumvent Web censorship.”
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