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To the Public, I am not Paid by Clinton

To the Public, I am not Paid by Clinton is a letter tagged with politics.

So, I’ve gotten some messages today accusing me of being a paid Clinton shill, and I want to clear some stuff up regarding my relationship with the candidates.

In 2009, I lobbied Congress to have them add Section D to Subtitle XII of the upcoming year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R.2647. That’s the defense budget bill, btw.

The VOICE Act (Victims of Iranian Censorship Enforcement Act), among other things, allocated $15 million to expand Farsi-language dissemination of information into Iran, $20 million to expand that fund, and $5 million to the Department of State to investigate human rights and telecommunications situations in Iran.

A fair portion of this funding went into Sedazad (then NedaNet,) an NGO I established for those purposes, funded previous to the VOICE Act by donations from Western civilians. I worked closely with the drafters of the legislation (specifically Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker) to make sure the language of the bill enabled my group to focus on developing software which would enable Iranian citizens to protect against attempted surveillance and censorship by their state, and establish decentralized communications protocols capable of interacting with the larger Internet. Additionally, I drafted State of Iranian Communication, which became the DoD standard for modern manipulation of the Internet by a state body.

While Clinton, as Secretary of State, commended the intent of the legislation, saying “[T]he Internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms,” she did not authorize the funding, nor did she have any direct role in the course of action taken by my organization, though subordinates under her did make use of my State of Iranian Communication document.

The only person currently involved in the race who authorized Congress to appropriate funding for me was Bernie Sanders, who voted yes on the NDAA.

So if I’ve been bought by any candidate, it’d be Sanders, as he is the only one who voted to give me money. I have no financial connection to any other candidate or their campaigns.