"Tear down this firewall!" But first: "Tear down these sanctions!"

Posted: 21 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"[S]oftware called 'Haystack' that makes it near impossible for [Iranian] censors to detect what Internet users are doing. ... 'It’s encrypted at such a level it would take thousands of years to figure out what you’re saying. It’s a potent open-society tool. It’s just a matter of getting it to Iran — and that’s still illegal.' ... My understanding is the license may soon be approved. Treasury insists it's now sitting at State. My urgent message to the Obama administration is: Hurry up with this license and the general one for mass market software! ... The United States is shooting itself in the foot by making this illegal. Hillary Clinton’s speech on the importance of an open Internet was good, but right now it’s just a speech. Don’t shut down on Iran; open up to its promise. Sanctions are a feel-good impasse. 'Tear down this wall!' was a 20th-century cry. It has given way to the 21st century’s 'Tear down this firewall!' That, not sanctions, is what the I.R.G.C. fears most; and that, not sanctions, should be Obama’s priority." Roger Cohen, New York Times, 18 February 2010. See previous post about (and with doubts about) Haystack.