An “out of this world” response to censorship

First, a quick sidenote: I’m glad to see this year finally come to a close, for various reasons. However, I’d still like to end it on a high note at least as this blog is concerned.

And so with that I bring forth this BBC News article, regarding an ambitious anti-censorship plan that’s truly out of this world: the use of satellite communications to circumvent the primarily land- and sea-based Internet we’ve come to know.

It is unfortunate on one hand that this is necessary. But it goes to illustrate the nearly boundless ingenuity of the hacker culture. We’ve seen anonymous remailers (the original cypherpunk Type I, then the Mixmaster or Type II), Freenet, Tor, GNUNet, and myriad other end-runs around overzealous censors, whether they be government-based or corporate-based. This is a logical next step, though satellites are not without their limits: a geostationary satellite introduces a huge latency, while lower orbits result in communication links only available in short bursts. With enough funding, though, I think this strategy has potential to be a winner.

And with that, my posts for 2011 are done. See you on the flip side.