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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Max Forte

Max Forte

State Dept. to Spend Part of $150 Million for Egyptian Transition on Digital Training |... - 0 views

  • State Dept. to Spend Part of $150 Million for Egyptian Transition on Digital Training

    BY E.B. BoydWed Feb 23, 2011
    "The key for us is to help them understand what the tools are and then for them to adopt and adapt them for their own purposes," Alec Ross, Hillary Clinton’s senior advisor for innovation, tells us.
  • Now that the euphoria of revolution is waning in Egypt, the hard work has begun to figure out what comes next. Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the U.S. is setting aside $150 million to help Egypt with that process. Now Alec Ross, Clinton’s senior advisor for innovation, tells Fast Company that a portion of that money will probably go toward helping Egyptians learn about and use digital tools to facilitate the process of transition.

    In the coming months, Ross says, the State Department will likely devote some of the $150 million to helping Egyptian organizations and individuals learn about digital tools and practices they can use to help their country move through the transition. How much money might be allocated and what exactly it would be used for is currently undecided. Two State Department officials traveled to Egypt this week to assess the best use of the funds.

  • "It’s reasonable to assume there could be a role for technology within that," Ross says. "The key for us is to help them understand what the tools are and then for them to adopt and adapt them for their own purposes."

    For a little more than a year, the State Department has pursued a policy called “Civil Society 2.0,” designed to help build the digital capabilities of grassroots organizations around the world working for democracy, human rights, and economic development. The digital activism that led to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt embodied the principles of that policy, in that everyday people used technology to organize and advocate for what they wanted.

    It's unchartered territory. A country has never been toppled as quickly and as bloodlessly as Egypt was. There is no clear road map about what to do next. In this environment, the State Department plans some good old-fashioned experimentation to discover best practices. There will probably even be an opportunity for reverse learning. “[The Egyptians] are sophisticated themselves,” Ross says. “Given the tools and resources, the Egyptian people can make the highest and best use of them.”

Max Forte

Jacob Appelbaum (ioerror) on Twitter - 0 views

    • So when TE Data both filters and rate limits, we have an artificially slow and essentially broken network that discourages use #egypt
  • @eclip5e I refused to answer their questions.
  • ...18 more annotations...
  • ioerror Discouraging uploading and actively blocking access to sites is clearly politically motivated to create a limited subset of the net #egypt
  • The frustrating issue is that people just assume #egypt normally has slow DSL - these are normally quite fast lines, crippled intentionally!
    • Some people will not download software to protect themselves because it practically takes *too long* or it prevents other activities #egypt
    • There are people who cannot upload videos or photographs in a meaningful time frame - sometimes not at all because of conns breaking #egypt
    • While not as nuanced as political-networked-coercive-throttling - the word censorship is fair because of the end result: censorship #egypt
    • A few points: I was not arrested, I did not consent to any searching, and of course - this isn't about travel, this is about liberty
    • Why do we allow US Customs to lie and to threaten people? It's a crime to lie to them and they do it as their day job. Why the inequality?
  • @1D4TW Correct - this is a link that normally is measured in Mb/s and they have throttled it for political reasons...
    • It's also quite worrying to note that this traffic shaping is new - perhaps with new equipment installed after the networks went down #egypt
    • People in #egypt don't have the ability to simply call up another ISP and wait 7-14 days for a new DSL provider who will also cripple them
  • Just as the Great Firewall is easy to circumvent, people will chunk uploads and wait for files to downloads. It's still network abuse #egypt
  • It's interesting to note that some media initially reported that I had no trouble because I said nothing at all. Irony abounds.
    • Will the Canadian government simply act as an arm of the US policy of detaining, searching, and harassing me? Oh Canada! I hope not.
    • I'd like to think that when I visit my family in Canada this wekend and attend a work conference that Canada won't hassle me. Am I dreaming?
  • TE Data DSL service is being seriously rate limited specifically to impact documenters from sharing in reasonable time. #egypt #jan25
  • The end result of political throttling is that people are unable to see or produce media in a relevant or impactful time span. #egypt #jan25
  • Rate limiting is not traditional censorship: TE Data wants to stifle speech and their methods are working. Imperfect but intentional. #egypt
    • I'm flying to Toronto, Canada for work on Sunday and back through Seattle again a few days later. Should be a joy to meet these guys again.
    • I resisted the temptation to give them a disk filled with /dev/random because I knew that reading them the Bill of Rights was enough hassle.
    • The mental environment that this creates for traveling is intense. Nothing is assured, nothing is secure, and nothing provides escape.
    • The CBP agent asked me for data - was I bringing data into the country? Where was all my data from the trip? Names, numbers, receipts, etc.
    • I'm only counting from the time that we opened my luggage until it was closed. The airport was basically empty when I left.
    • In case it is not abundantly clear: I have not been arrested, nor charged with any crime, nor indicted in any way. Land of the free? Hardly.
    • Even if it makes things worse for me, I refuse to be silent about state sponsored systematic detainment, searching, and harassment.
    • It took a great deal of thought before I posted about my experience because it honestly appears to make things worse for me in the future.
    • All in all, if you're going to be detained, searched, and harassed at the border in an extra-legal manner, I guess it's Seattle over Newark.
    • While it's true that Communist China has never treated me as badly as CBP, I know this isn't true for everyone who travels to China.
    • They were quite surprised to learn that Iceland had computers and that I didn't have to bring my own.
    • All in all, the detainment was around thirty minutes long. They all seemed quite distressed that I had no computer and no phone.
    • The CBP agent asked if the ACLU was really waiting. I confirmed the ACLU was waiting and they again denied me contact with legal help.
    • The CBP agents in Seattle were nicer than ones in Newark. None of them implied I would be raped in prison for the rest of my life this time.
    • The CBP agent stated that I had posted on Twitter before my flight and that slip ended the debate about their random selection process.
    • During the search, I made it quite clear that I had no laptop and no cell phone. Only USB drives with the Bill of Rights.
    • Only US customs has random number generator worse than a mid-2007 Debian random number generator. Random? Hardly.
    • While waiting for my baggage, I noticed the CBP agent watching me and of course after my bag arrived, I was "randomly" selected for search.
    • She attempted to trick me by putting words into my mouth. She marked my card with a large box with the number 1 inside, sent me on my way.
    • When I handed over my customs declaration form, the female agent was initially friendly. After pulling my record, she had a sour face.
    • The CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) agent was waiting for me at the exit gate. Remember when it was our family and loved ones?
    • I requested access my lawyer and was again denied. They stated I was I wasn't under arrest and so I was not able to contact my lawyer.
    • The forensic specialist (who was friendly) explained that EnCase and FTK, with a write-blocker inline were unable to see the Bill of Rights.
    • I did however have a few USB thumb drives with a copy of the Bill of Rights encoded into the block device. They were unable to copy it.
    • The CPB specifically wanted laptops and cell phones and were visibly unhappy when they discovered nothing of the sort.
    • I was detained, searched, and CPB did attempt to question me about the nature of my vacation upon landing in Seattle.
    • It's very frustrating that I have to put so much consideration into talking about the kind of harassment that I am subjected to in airports.
    Sorry for the poor formatting...the key point is that I observed three different Egyptian websites I consult frequently, including 3arabawy, responding very slowly. At first I thought this was due to high traffic, given increased interest in the sites. However, here we have Jacob Appelbaum, a noted American hacker, affiliated with Wikileaks, and an expert in his field, who says repeatedly that his research shows continued Egyptian state throttling traffic from activist websites in Egypt, to limit their presence as much as possible. A few minutes ago, 3arabawy did not load at all in my broswer, except for the black background...and I have a cable connection.
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