Iranian autocrats will have a harder time blocking material

Whenever any repressive regime tries to censor online content, rest assured somebody somewhere will find a way around it (Western governments also take note):

While the Iranian government has intensified its aggressive efforts to expand Internet filters, Austin Heap, a young programmer in the U.S., says he has developed software that would enable Iranians to evade their censors.

In response to the widespread crackdown following Iran’s June 2009 presidential elections, the San Francisco-based Censorship Research Centre (CRC) developed a programme that provides unfiltered, anonymous Internet access.

Called Haystack, it uses a sophisticated mathematical formula to hide the user’s real Internet identity while allowing access to widely-used networking websites blocked by Iran’s government, such as YouTube, Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter.

“Now we can launch our efforts to help those in Iran access the Internet as if there were no Iranian government filters,” Austin Heap, CRC’s executive director, told IPS.