Ever since "hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets" in Iran, accusing the government of holding a fraudulent presidential election, social sites like Facebook and Twitter have played a wildly significant part in getting information out. (An aside: Do you see, you foolish and stubborn book / print fetishists, what the point of typing out silly little words is all about? That, in the end, it is just about communicating information? Communicated to as many sets of eyeballs as possible? Free of any arrogant literary stank? That your dusty 'zines stacked at Dog-Eared Books and your elite writers compounds speak to no one but you?) It seems the Iranian government found out about the world wide web, and then started blocking those sites in their country. As the Slog posted yesterday, proxies came to the rescue. That is to say, you could allow a n Iranian protester to connect to your computer instead, then they could use Twitter or whatever. (The protesters really could use it.)
And local IT director (the downright adorable) Austin Heap, 25, even went so far as to set up a helpful proxy server for silenced Iranians. According to SF Chronicle, Heap set up a server that would bypass any Iranian censorship, thus allowing the angry kids in Iran to get the word out again.
Heap tells the SF Chronicle, "If I can help them get their message out and help them tell the story and step back, that's my job ... (But) my mom is terrified right now."