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Thursday
Jun302011

Iranian Spy Chief: We Can Beat America's 'Internet in a Suitcase'

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran has developed counter-measures to take on the "Internet in a suitcase" program supposedly developed by the U.S. to bring online access to dissidents living under autocratic regimes, the country's spy chief said.

"We had predicted these [U.S. devised] actions, for example the Internet in suitcase, and devised proper ways to combat them," Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said Wednesday, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.

Funded in part by the U.S. State Department, the "Internet in a suitcase" is part of a classified multi-platform telecommunications program led by the United States to provide dissidents around the world the ability to "undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks," according to a report earlier this month by The New York Times.

But according to the Iranian report, the purpose of the program is actually to connect those dissidents directly with the CIA and is only a small front in the U.S. cyber confrontation mostly directed at Iran. The CIA declined to comment both on the existence of the "Internet in a suitcase" program and Iran's ability to stop it.

Richard Clarke, former White House advisor on counter-terrorism and ABC News consultant, said he believes the U.S. does have the capability to deploy "Internet in a suitcase" devices, but Iran is also probably capable of combating that particular tactic right now.

In order to be of any use to Internet users in the country, Clarke said, the devices would have to broadcast on a common frequency -- a frequency the government would be able to scan for and jam if necessary. Also, it's likely the devices could be geo-located and physically shut down by government-loyal security forces.

"The plain old 'Internet in a suitcase' I think is easily defeated," Clarke, author of Cyber War, said. However, Clarke said the technology could be indispensible in countries that are already in crisis and "stupid enough" to shut down the whole Internet.

The first such instance of such drastic tactics -- which The Times said helped invigorate the "Internet in a suitcase" initiative -- occurred in Egypt the midst of its popular uprising in January when the government became the first to almost completely shut off the Internet connection to the country in an effort to silence protesters. Earlier this month Syria followed suit, reportedly managing to knock out two-thirds of all Syrian networks.

Iran also has a history of strict cyber censorship. Following its 2009 elections, the Iranian government attempted to crackdown on the proliferation of online protests, despite the support for dissidents from around the world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb262011

China Blocks Name of Outgoing US Ambassador in Web Searches

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SHANGHAI) -- The Obama administration is publicly criticizing China for blocking the name of outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman on web searches.

"It is remarkable that even before our colleague Ambassador #JonHuntsman departs #Beijing, #China has made him disappear on the #Internet," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley tweeted Saturday morning.

It has been widely speculated that the former Utah governor is preparing a possible run for the presidency in 2012.

At a press conference in January, President Obama was asked about what were then rumors of Huntsman's departure from the administration.

"I couldn’t be happier with the ambassador’s service, and I’m sure he will be very successful in whatever endeavors he chooses in the future," the president said.

With a mischievous smile, the president added, "And I’m sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary."

Huntsman's resignation is set to take effect in April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

YouTube Orchestra: Online Auditions Now Open

Photo Courtesy - YouTube(NEW YORK) -- Practice, practice, practice may get you to Carnegie Hall, but these days, the Web, Web, Web will get you worldwide fame.

Building on the success of its first global online orchestra, which performed at New York's Carnegie Hall in 2009, YouTube Tuesday announced the launch of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011.

At events in New York and Sydney, Australia, YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google, said it was taking its second internationally crowd-sourced orchestra to the land Down Under, to perform at the Sydney Opera House in March 2011.

"This is such a great way to connect and inspire people and show how YouTube can unite people around the world," said Ed Sanders, senior marketing manager at YouTube.  "It's wonderful to see an example of where technology brings people together in the virtual world and the real world."

From Oct. 12 through Nov. 28, musicians around the world can upload audition videos to show off their abilities.  A panel of judges from top orchestras around the world will then select a group of semifinalists.  In December, YouTube users will get to vote for their favorite musicians online.  The winning musicians will be announced on Jan. 11, 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio