March 27, 2011

U.S. DEVELOPS "PANIC BUTTON" FOR DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

SOMEDAY SOON, when pro-democracy campaigners have their cellphones confiscated by police, they'll be able to hit the "panic button" - - a special app that will both wipe out the phone's address book and emit emergency alerts to other activists.

The panic button is one of the new technologies the U.S. State Department is promoting to equip pro-democracy activists in countries ranging from the Middle East to China with the tools to fight back against repressive governments.

The United States had budgeted some $50 million since 2008 to promote new technologies for social activists, focusing both on "circumvention" technology to help them work around government-imposed firewalls and on new strategies to protect their own communications and data from government intrusion.

1 comment:

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