Will $25 Million In Government Money Make The Internet Truly Free (As In Freedom)?


Good ol’ government, spreading freedom and whatnot. The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said yesterday that the government plans to invest a cool $25 million in order to help people get around Internet “thugs, hackers, and censors.” The money will go toward developers so they can build the tools necessary to fight Internet tyranny across the globe.

You’ll recall that the Egyptian government completely shut off Internet access in its dying days a few weeks ago, a move that drew wide condemnation. Not that the U.S., or any other entity, had the ability to influence Egypt’s decision there, of course.

Clinton said that an open Internet was in the interest of all countries in the world. My guess is that she’d have a hard time convincing China to dismantle its Great Firewall.

Evgeny Morozov, one of the better folks to follow online vis-à-vis the intersection of technology and freedom, voiced skepticism, saying:

.bbpBox37576333034786820 {background:url(http://a3.twimg.com/a/1297297247/images/themes/theme1/bg.png) #C0DEED;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

Sure, a venture capital approach will save State Dept from the next Haystack!less than a minute ago via Mobile Web

Haystack was talked up as the singular solution to rid the world of oppressive regimes, but the reality was far less impressive.