A group of Pakistani-American entrepreneurs at Harvard have created a way for regular citizens to avoid government censorship of the news.
The new company Inkrypt utilizes blockchain technology to allow users to exchange content without that content ever going through a server. All five of Incrypt’s founders are originally from Pakistan. Co-founder Ali Chaudhary said he was inspired to start the company because of his experiences with censorship and limited access to information in Pakistan.
In this era of self & enforced media censorship , @InkryptFDN is fighting censorship with a privacy-centric, decentralized content hosting based on Block-Chain technology. And their mission is “making journalism truly free” find more here @VOANews pic.twitter.com/jdKKwYJYuW
— Saqib Ul Islam (@SaqibIslam) October 1, 2018
“We’ve seen censorship first hand and we’ve seen how it affects lives, how it affects the whole society,” Chaudhary recently told Voice of America.
He noted that it is not uncommon for sites like YouTube to be blocked by the government in Pakistan. He began thinking about issues of censorship and how to work on behalf of those impacted by it after arriving in the United States.
“It is a censorship resistant platform for publishing, not just for journalists but for all types of media,” Chaudhary said of Inkrypt. He explained that because blockchain is a peer-to-peer network, it is more trustworthy and harder to hack.
The product is being developed in Harvard University’s Innovation Lab and is already available in the United States, Canada, China and Germany. The founders told Voice of America they hope to expand to other countries — particularly those in which citizens experience severe censorship — soon.