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How Haystack endangered the Iranian dissidents it was supposed to protect. - Slate Magazine

Stashed in: Middle East, World of Warcraft

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In March of this year, Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. government had granted a license to a company whose software would "help information continue to flow freely into and out of Iran." That software was called Haystack, an anti-censorship tool that received glowing coverage from the BBC, NPR, the Christian Science Monitor, the International Herald Tribune, and many other news sources. Perhaps it was Haystack's teasing, provocative slogan—"Good luck finding that needle"—that so intrigued the reporters. Or maybe it was the story of its founder Austin Heap, the twentysomething IT specialist from San Francisco who, prior to founding Haystack in June 2009, spent much of his time killing dragons in World of Warcraft. Just nine months later, Heap was given the Innovator of the Year award by the Guardian. Soon after, Heap claimed that he was headed to Washington, D.C., to meet with Sen. John McCain.

So was the problem Haystack or was the problem the idea itself? 

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