Ever since foreign-backed riots broke out in Iran in mid-September, Western news
outlets have frequently drawn attention to the role of Psiphon, a free,
open-source smartphone application and computer program that allows users to
circumvent restrictions on websites and online resources in helping
troublemakers organize and coordinate their activities, and send and receive
messages to and from the outside world.
In the process, Psiphon has received untold amounts of highly-influential free
advertising, and some Iranians - along with residents of West Asia more widely -
will no doubt have been encouraged to download the software.
However, not a single mainstream source has hitherto acknowledged the spectral
origins of Psiphon, let alone the malign aims it serves, and sinister purposes
to which it can be put by its sponsors in the American intelligence community.
Psiphon was launched in 2009. Avowedly intended to support anti-government
elements in countries the company considers "enemies of the internet", the
resource employs a combination of secure communication and obfuscation
technologies, including VPNs, web proxies, and secure shell protocols (SSH),
which allows users to effectively set up their own private servers that their
own government cannot monitor.
Over Psiphon's lifetime, it has been funded and distributed by a variety of
For example, it was for several years promoted by ASL19, which was founded by an
Iranian expat Ali Bangi in 2013 to capitalize on the vast US funding flowing for
"internet freedom" initiatives in the wake of the Arab Spring.
A June 2011 New York Times probe into Washington's "internet freedom" push
concluded that all these endeavors serve to "deploy 'shadow' internet and mobile
phone systems dissidents can use to communicate outside the reach of governments
in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya."
With Bangi and ASL19 out of the picture, in 2019, Psiphon began receiving
millions from the Open Technology Fund, created seven years earlier by Radio
Free Asia (RFA), which in turn was founded by the US Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) in 1948 after it was officially authorized to engage in "black
operations", including propaganda, economic warfare, sabotage, subversion, and
"assistance to underground resistance movements."
In 2007, the CIA website ranked RFA and other "psychological warfare"
initiatives such as Radio Free Europe and Voice of America among "the
longest-running and most successful covert action campaigns" it ever mounted.
Today, RFA is an asset of the US Agency for Global Media, which is funded by the
US Congress to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Its CEO
has acknowledged that the organization's priorities "reflect US national
OTF was one of the several initiatives that spun out of Washington's
aforementioned "internet freedom" push.
Individuals intimately involved in making this desire a reality are under no
illusion as to the true raison d'etre they are serving. In February 2015,
Jillian York, an OTF advisory board member, stated she "fundamentally" believed
"internet freedom" was "at heart an agenda of regime change."
Another core Psiphon strength from the perspective of Western power is that it
funnels all user data to and through centralized servers owned by the company
While individuals' activities on the network might be shielded from the prying
eyes of their own government, Psiphon can track what sites they are visiting and
their communications in real-time.
This allows foreign actors to keep an unblinking eye trained on protesters and
protest movements, and to respond accordingly.
-- Cont'd at https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/18/692977/Beware-Psiphon-CIA-tech-tool-assist-fuel-global-protests