This Suitcase Is Packed Full of Wireless Regime Change

Using Facebook or Twitter to overthrow an oppressive government is one thing, but to see true effectiveness one should probably deploy the case of goodies seen above.

Unofficially called an "Internet in a suitcase," the kit is just one of the many tools currently being employed by the Obama Administration to craft "shadow" networks in countries whose Internet has been disrupted or, as was the case in Egypt or Libya, turned off entirely.

With a moderately inexpensive $2 million price tag, the suitcase is but one of the many projects the U.S. government is reportedly researching and deploying as part of an effort to clandestinely support repressed populations abroad.

One of the more incredible efforts is the alleged $50 million custom cellphone network that the U.S. is developing for use in Afghanistan.

[...] the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country. It is intended to offset the Taliban's ability to shut down the official Afghan services, seemingly at will

The multi-faceted effort isn't necessarily a high-tech one all around. Indeed, some of the funding is being directed at locals in countries like Libya and Afghanistan that have demonstrated a willingness to subvert government censorship or have already implemented successful government-toppling strategies.

Many of the projects are still not yet known. Many, like the suitcase, could leave the testing grounds on L Street in Washington, D.C. and enter "active service" very, very soon. [NYT]