Technology Proves Bigger than Iranian Gov't

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Now that most foreign journalists have been forced to leave Iran, getting up-to-date information out of Tehran is becoming more difficult.

One email CBN News received from a source inside Iran revealed, "All communication devices are controlled by the government.  the government is trying to keep us silent. Iran is not safe now."

Iranian citizen journalists are stepping in to keep the world informed through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Friends of the protestors around the world are using technology to help.

Sympathizers like Chinese-born computer scientist Shiyu Zhou are helping the iranian opposition break down cyberwalls.

"I realized how frightening a state-controlled media can be, that it can turn black into white overnight," he said.

Zhou was a student in Beijing 20 years ago during the Tianmen Square massacre.  He and about 49 other computer engineers are scattered across the world, secretly working to keep the internet open when government's try to restrict access.

They've developed "freegate" --a way for Iranians or anyone else with blocked access to American Web sites to get through.  And it leaves no trace that the user tried to view restricted Web sites.

Others around the world are communicating with the Iranian protestors giving them tips and advice.

One person on Twitter advised the protestors to dip handkerchiefs and cloths in lemon juice or vinegar to lessen the affects of tear gas. And the Iranians are "tweeting" back with the latest information.

"Several talks about thousands of candles being lit for the martyred 27-year-old Neda," one user wrote in an update.

Graphic cell phone video of Neda's last moments of life can be seen on numerous social networking sites.  Also, a covert video taken of  protestors arrested at their homes is making the rounds.

Iranian citizen journalists and enterprising computer scientists seem to be one step ahead of an Iranian government that is trying to prevent the world from learning the truth.

"We all remember when the Berlin Wall collapsed and the implications of that," said Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute.  "Well, in the 21st Century, the walls are made of electrons."

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Gary Lane

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