Laptops, Satellite Kits for 2,000 Select Syrians, Gratis U.S. Taxpayer


Max Fisher
washingtonpost.com
November 30, 20122

One way that some Syrians may be able to circumvent the total Internet blackout that has cut the entire country off from the Web since Thursday morning is with U.S.-provided “communication kits.” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the U.S. has provided 2,000 kits that would allow Syrians to continue communicating with one another and the outside world, and largely outside of state monitoring. The kits include a laptop, satellite receiver and 50-foot cable.

The Washington Post’s Greg Miller investigated the spread of the communication kits this August. The good news is that it appears the kits could do some real good for Syrians, assuming that they found their way into Syrian hands. The bad news is that this may not actually be a safe assumption, slowed by bureaucracy, the fog of war and an odd requirement that anyone who wants a kit must travel to Turkey for a training session. Here are some of the relevant snips from Miller’s report:

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