CIMA/NED Panel on Iran and New Media

by phobos | July 14, 2009

I was invited to join a panel discussion on Iran and New Media hosted by the Center for International Media Assistance and the National Endowment for Democracy. The full 90 minute video is now online; as is my presentation.

The general overview of the panel is

The direct link to the video on Vimeo is

A number of press people talked to me afterwards, including Al-Jazeera. There were reporters from Xinhua and China Daily in the audience as well. These reporters paid close attention to anything I said about China.

I spoke about what I knew and generally tried to avoid starting international incidents. A few of my answers to questions rambled a bit.

All in all it was a great panel and I learned more about what goes on inside Iran from the different panelists.


Please note that the comment area below has been archived.

July 16, 2009


Phobos, you have serious problems with public speaking, go find a psichiatry and don't make people waste their time with it.

July 17, 2009


أشكركم تور. ط الاستعمال اليومي. يحتاج أسرع.


July 18, 2009


According to Google Translate, this says,

"Thank you, Tor. I use daily. Needed quickly."

July 19, 2009



The Hudson Institute currently solicits K street for a firm looking to push their religious agenda with the Falun Gong cult. Having seen their presentation, it is unbelievable in they ask for $60 million from the US taxpayers to further their own brand of circumvention. Their presentation solely focuses on Tor as reprobates and of course, their solution as salvation.

What it is you have ever done to them, please do continue to do so. For you have garnered the attentions of a bully; and will do best to treat them as such.


"An organisation with links to Falun Gong is hoping to benefit from US government spending on breaking China's Great Firewall.

Last year Congress approved $15m in State Department funds to help “the advancement of information freedom in closed societies, including the Middle East and Asia”. This was generally interpreted as support for technologies which would help people avoid government restrictions on internet use especially in China.

But now a group of geeks and Falun Gong followers hopes to get a slice of this money. The Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) claims to be the largest and longest-running anti-censorship organisation.

It makes available several tools to help Chinese residents avoid the government's Great Firewall.

The group, made up of companies and individual programmers, said 90 per cent of its web traffic comes from China and Iran. GIFC compares China's Great Firewall with the Berlin Wall, and predicts it too will fall.

Spokesman for the group Zhou Shiyu told Reuters the service was not for technically literate users who can use virtual private networks and other methods to evade Chinese censorship. He said: "Our goal is not this elite user. We want to make this massive and decisive, to tear down the wall."

He told the newswire that about a million people a day use its software in China and about 400,000 in Iran. The original launch of a Farsi version crashed the organisation's web servers.

Although removing references to Falun Gong might make the Global Internet Freedom Consortium more palatable to US Congress, any funding from the US State Department could backfire on an organisation that needs to appear transparent and neutral."

August 01, 2009

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


why is the us government funding religious cults? didn't they learn their lesson with the taliban in afghanistan?

July 31, 2009


I and other Chinese people and feel that Falun Gong is indeed undesirable. We should distinguish between the facts. I think China is more and more over a firewall to restrict normal access to the Internet.

and we can not visit site from china network now.

I have to using tor or VPN for visit it. and hope tor support for vpn used.

Fact: Not everybody can use tor properly, some can't even bare the speed.
Fact: Not everybody trust server based proxies and the service's not as flexible as tor.
Competition is always good, tor, GIFC and other internet freedom groups can draw more attention from the Congress and the public, which is a great thing ( i prefer i2p which is a dark net and works faster than tor. )
The Chinese authorities say they will expend their media in the west, so our government must take measurements against this ideological infiltration.

As a communist, the religious groups you talked about is more or less different from what other part of world may understand, since what you see, what you hear are not true or not in the right context.Authorities in your country wouldn't even allow people to say no in their OWN countries.Communists are good at "clubs and carrots" on others and brain washing their own kinds.