1 Million People a Day Use U.S.-Funded Tools to Avoid Internet Censorship by Dictatorships
American efforts to help foreign citizens overcome Internet censorship have proven to be wildly popular, resulting in a million users a day.
But those involved in the anti-censorship initiatives say even more people would be using the online tools provided by the U.S. government and others if capacity was expanded.
Between public and private sources, the U.S. spends about $30 million a year on Internet freedom, which consists largely of software programs that users can download to thwart authoritarian firewalls and spying.
The programs, though, are becoming victims of their own success. So many people are accessing the online tools that slowdowns occur, causing bottlenecks in the system.
Advocates want the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which funds some initiatives, to expand funding from $10 million a year to somewhere between $50 million and $100 million.
The BBG says it may not be able to make such an increase, not when Congress has demanded it trim its overall budget by $50 million.
To Learn More
Internet Anti-Censorship Tools Are Being Overwhelmed by Demand (by James Ball, Washington Post)
U. S. Tests System that Beats Internet Censorship by Dictatorships (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
State Dept. Unveils Plan to Fight Internet Censorship around the World (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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