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S.F. techie helps stir Iranian protests
san Francisco Chronicle / sfgate.com ^ | Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Posted on 06/17/2009 6:52:58 PM PDT by thecodont

(06-16) 20:52 PDT -- Little about Austin Heap's first online venture, a site hosting free episodes of the cartoon "South Park," suggested he would one day use his computer skills to challenge a government.

But for the past few days, Heap, an IT director in San Francisco, has been on the virtual front lines of the crisis in Iran, helping people there protest the presidential election, which opponents of the incumbent regime maintain was fraudulent.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets since Saturday, organizing and sharing news on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The Iranian government, in response, has blocked those sites, along with mobile phone service and other communications tools.

But Iran has the highest number of bloggers per capita in the world, said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University, and they were undeterred. "People used Twitter, and people used their cell phones and used all kinds of mechanisms."

[...]

"I believe in free information," he said Tuesday. "And I especially have no room for a tyrannical regime shutting up a whole population. I was 13 and able to take on a huge company like Comedy Central from my bedroom. With a computer, everybody has the power to do that."

Proxy server a weapon

Heap's weapon in the past few days was the proxy server, a computer configured to act as an intermediary between a computer user and the Internet. Such servers have many legitimate functions, such as speeding response times, and some illegitimate ones, such as helping spammers hide their identities.

What interested Heap was the use of a proxy server to bypass censorship. Properly configured, a proxy server could identify Web surfers in Iran and route them to Twitter and other sites the government had restricted.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: blogs; iran; security; tech
Something to think about in our own dear country.
1 posted on 06/17/2009 6:52:58 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont

Yes it is!


2 posted on 06/17/2009 6:58:14 PM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: thecodont

Help crash the Iranian media/leadership websites. Open up www.khamenei.ir , www.leader.ir , www.presstv.ir , www.farsnews.ir , or www.president.ir and just leave the sites open overnight. The more people are on, the slower they get and eventually they’ll crash. IRNA is already down (well, last night it was).


3 posted on 06/17/2009 6:59:36 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat (I'm learning Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Pashtu, and Russian so someday you won't have to)
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To: thecodont

Bump


4 posted on 06/17/2009 7:29:29 PM PDT by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: G8 Diplomat

That is a very bad idea since it clogs the pipes going in and out of the country, which in turn hampers all internet traffic.


5 posted on 06/17/2009 7:53:59 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: SeeSharp

Does it? Some other FReeper suggested doing that, but I guess it’s not such a hot idea. Thanks for the heads-up.


6 posted on 06/17/2009 8:46:16 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat (I'm learning Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Pashtu, and Russian so someday you won't have to)
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To: SeeSharp; G8 Diplomat

I’ve heard that too. Suggest not doing it.


7 posted on 06/17/2009 8:54:39 PM PDT by Norman Bates
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To: thecodont

A very inspiring story!


8 posted on 06/17/2009 10:37:05 PM PDT by dixjea
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