“Whether a repressive government, a buggy DNS server or a little old lady is behind your internet outage, it can’t be much fun, but the US government sympathizes with your plight if you’re dealing with reason number one. The New York Times reports that the US State Department will have spent upwards of $70 million on “shadow networks” which would allow protesters to communicate even if powers that be pull the traditional plug — so far, it’s spent at least $50 million on a independent cell phone network for Afghanistan, and given a $2 million grant to members of the New America Foundation creating the “internet in a suitcase”
Last we’d heard, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had pledged $25 million for just this sort of internet freedom, and the New America Foundation had applied for some of those bucks — see our more coverage links below — but it sounds like the money is flowing fast, and in multiple directions now.”
As much as this may seem trivial or offensive , any good tool used for good purposes is empowering and freeing. We have and are seeing the power of the Internet and social media in the Middle East in the Arab Spring uprisings. This “Internet in a suitcase ” would enable the voice of democracy and freedom via communication to occur in the case where a repressive government may wish to suppress the outflow of information. Knowledge is power and getting that knowledge out to the right people and to the greater global community keeps governments honest and the world informed . People do care but they need information to help them gather support and make timely and proper decisions.