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Big Brother is SMS savvy in some countries

Chris Ziegler

It's no secret that China is rockin' some serious server power dedicated to filtering its SMS airwaves of unthinkable topics like Taiwan, democracy, and pornography, but other countries are getting in on the action, too. Belarus and Iran have both been called out in recent months for listening to its citizens' texts, and in Belarus' case, sending them as well. Although the technology for real-time filtering by keyword is largely homegrown (or so we hope), predictive text manufacturers like Tegic (disclaimer: Tegic is owned by Engadget's parent company's parent company, AOL) are receiving pressure from handset manufacturers to double- and triple-check their dictionaries for words that could be considered distasteful in countries with more oppressive governments than our own. Personally, discovering a word missing from T9 has never prevented us from typing it manually, but nonetheless -- between this and M-Track, we're about ready to head down into the Engadget bunker with a year's supply of Spam and just ride this whole thing out.


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