Obfuscation techniques — when one thing is made to look like another — are also a path forward. A digital tunnel from Iran to Norway can be disguised as an ordinary Skype call. Deep packet inspection cannot distinguish such traffic from genuine traffic, and the collateral damage of blocking all traffic is often too high for a government to stomach.
Finally, advances in user-experience design practices are a big, if not obvious, boon. The Internet is becoming easier to use, and the same goes for circumvention technologies — which means that activists will face less of a challenge getting online securely.
Much of the fight against censorship has been led by the activists of the Internet freedom movement. We can join this open source community, whether we are policy makers, corporations or individuals. Money, coding skills or government grants can all make a difference.
Given the energies and opportunities out there, it’s possible to end repressive Internet censorship within a decade. If we want the next generation of users to be free, we don’t see any other option.
Great op-ed in the NYT by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen of Google.