BBG's net circumvention efforts descend from previous decades' shortwave anti-jamming efforts.

Posted: 26 Aug 2011   Print   Send a link
Nextgov, 23 Aug 2011, Joseph Marks: "The agency that once set up transmitters in Europe to overcome the Soviet Union's attempts to jam Voice of America's shortwave radio broadcasts is now deploying advanced Web proxy and IP address shielding technology to jump online firewalls that block the country-specific websites for VOA, Radio Free Asia and other government-funded news agencies under the purview of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In most cases, BBG's circumvention tools don't just ensure users can access the agency's news sites. They also create what its chief information security officer and director of Internet freedom programs, Ken Berman, calls an 'encrypted pipe' -- essentially a search bar at the top of the websites for VOA China, Persian News Network and other BBG outlets that allows users to go nearly anywhere on the Internet without alerting national Web censors. ... Ultimately, Berman said, while the circumvention tools have changed, the basic ideology has not. 'This really is just a continuation of this agency's attempts to overcome shortwave jams,' he said. 'Coping with jamming has been a way of life for this agency since the Cold War.'"

VOA News, 22 Aug 2011, Matthew Hilburn: "A new web technology being championed by China is allowing a short-term gap in its so-called 'Great Firewall,' which blocks Chinese Internet users from sites blacklisted by the government in Beijing. Experts say how the gap is closed could have ramifications for the entire world. The gap exists because of IPv6, the next generation of Internet protocol designed to replace IPv4. The change is needed because the old system is about to run out of IP addresses, the combination of numbers that identify your computer over the Internet. IPv6 will offer a nearly infinite number of IP addresses. ... To answer the shortage, China has been a leader in rolling out IPv6. But it’s only available to a small slice of the population, mainly in the big cities and around large universities. At least some of these users seem to be able to surf without blocking or filtering. ... 'Yes, I have used IPv6 to go around the firewall,' user 'Dxing' told VOA on Google +. 'For now, the firewall cannot deal with IPv6,' said user 'Brain,' a student in Heifei on Google +."