Dispatches from the Iranian cyberfront

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 22 Jun 2009 10:50:54 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Eric S. Raymond has joined, named, and become the public spokesman for NedaNet, an effort to provide communication and uncensored internet access for Iranians. Bravo, ESR!

From the blog post:

This role carries a non-zero risk that I will be targeted for assassination, or interrogation followed by execution, by agents of the Iranian regime - we've had more than one death threat against core members already. I take this risk with eyes open because we need somebody to be public, and I know I've already been a jihadi target since 2006; at least I can keep some other poor bastard out of the line of fire. I now expect to remain continuously armed for the duration of the Iranian crisis.

From the NedaNet main page:

You can help!

You can help by adding bandwidth and computing power to our network. It is still forming and growing; the more widely dispersed it gets, the less vulnerable it will be to denial-of-service attacks, blacklisting, or physical action by the Iranian government and its terrorist allies.

If you are a Linux or *BSD user, we have a detailed recipe for setting up and registering a Squid proxy for the revolutionaries' use.

Instructions for Windows users are under development. We'll have instructions for Mac users as soon as someone writes them.

There's a bootable CD called rbox that sets up a NedaNet site in a box. I'm told it's usable but still being polished.

We have an IRC channel, #irantech on freenode.net, where we gather to help each other help the Iranians.


Public contact and operational security

I'm Eric S. Raymond. Some of you will know me from the open-source movement as "ESR". Because of the real threat of terrorist action against us, most of NedaNet is keeping a low profile. I have volunteered to be a visible public contact because (a) I've done this sort of public-face work before, (b) I already got my jihadi death threat from Iran in 2006 before NedaNet, and (c) I'm not easily intimidated.

Think of me as a cut-out. I have very carefully not asked who our contacts in Iran are. I don't even know who most of the rest of the NedaNet people are, and don't intend to try to find out; they're basically just handles on an IRC channel from whom I get URLs and files. And for any jihadi interested in asking me questions face to face, I've got some bullets slathered in pork fat to make you feel extra special welcome.

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