Canadian software could help Chinese dissidents

ARIS -- Canadian-designed computer software could help roving foreign journalists and Chinese dissidents dodge Internet restrictions during the 2008 Olympics in China, a conference here was told Saturday.

Thanks to recent modifications, users no longer need to download the software but can access it directly on the web, making it easier for people within the boundaries of China's Great Firewall to access banned sites, explained Ronald J. Deibert, director of Citizen Lab, the University of Toronto research centre that pioneered the project.

Named Psyphon, the software allows individuals to bypass governmental barriers in their country by connecting unnoticed to the computer of a trusted friend or family member abroad.

As the hype around the Olympics casts a glaring spotlight on China's poor press freedom record, and increasingly revs up the country's propaganda machine, blogs and websites have become the centre of impassioned debate over current events and a platform for Chinese dissidents to offer their own version of the news.

The story is too old to be commented.