Anti-censoring system set up for China and Iran being censored

Pete writes “CNet’s News.Com has this story of how the U.S. government came up with a plan a few years ago to give Internet surfers in China and Iran the ability to bypass their nations’ notoriously restrictive blocks on Web sites, allowing surfers to view banned sites such as BBC News, MIT and Amnesty International.

But an independent report released Monday reveals that the U.S. government also censors what Chinese and Iranian citizens can see online. Technology used by the U.S. International Broadcast Bureau, which puts out the Voice of America broadcasts, prevents them from visiting Web addresses that include a peculiar list of verboten keywords. The list includes “ass” (which inadvertently bans, “breast” (, “hot” ( and, “pic” ( and “teen” (

That’s the sad irony in the OpenNet Initiative’s findings: A government agency charged with fighting Internet censorship is quietly censoring the Web itself.”