Censorship

Surging Demand Overwhelms Anti-Censorship Tools

Unfortunately, fighting censors is a growth industry

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U.S.-funded programs to beat back online censorship are increasingly finding a ready audience in repressive countries, with more than 1 million people a day using online tools to get past extensive blocking programs and government surveillance.

But the popularity of those initiatives has become a liability.

Activists and nonprofit groups say that their online circumvention tools, funded by the U.S. government, are being overwhelmed by demand and that there is not enough money to expand capacity. The result: online bottlenecks that have made the tools slow and often inaccessible to users in China, Iran and elsewhere, threatening to derail the Internet freedom agenda championed by the Obama administration.