Pakistani-American startup combating media censorship


A group of Pakistani-American entrepreneurs at Harvard have created a way for regular citizens to avoid government censorship of the news, according to The Teal Mango.

The new company Inkrypt utilises 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.

“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.


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