Open Source Psiphon Helps Iraqi Netizens Access the Internet

July 14, 2014

Interview with Karl Kathuria

Since mid-June, citizens in Iraq have been experiencing varying degrees of blocked access to the Internet. As explained by the Iraqi Network for Social Media, the Iraqi Government’s decision to block parts of the Internet is a violation of Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states, “Everyone has the right to … seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

One of the tools that is being utilized by some Internet users in Iraq is Psiphon. Hivos had the opportunity to chat with Karl Kathuria (pictured here), VP Commericial Management at Psiphon, Inc., about how his company is helping make the Internet accessible in Iraq despite blocking by the government.

Q: What is Psiphon and what does it do?

KK: Psiphon is a software company that helps millions of people around the world access content that is otherwise unavailable to them. It makes use of a number of different Internet protocols, combined with an ephemeral cloud-based network, to keep people connected regardless of any attempts to block network access.

Our aim is to keep people connected, to make sure that everyone has equal access to the same content and services that people in Canada take for granted. Keeping the channels of communication open is vital for ensuring that discourse can take place and helping to meet the standards stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Psiphon is “open source”, meaning we make available all source code that we develop and publish any changes we make. This allows technical experts to assess and comment on the security of our software.

Read the full interview at