The NYT is reporting the United States government, State Department, is working on a shadow Internet that can be moved into a despotic nation like Iran, China, and North Korea (the usual suspects) and allow users to punch through censorship efforts by these types of governments.
Other types of efforts mentioned includes stealth networks and cell systems that works independent of the host country's networks.
The idea is to fit such a network in a suitcase that can easily be transported into the target country.
Obviously, it isn't as easy as one might think. Not just from a technical standpoint but also from danger such a network possess to those who use and operate them. Nevertheless, the powers that be figure the rewards outweighs the risks.
Consider this like the mesh system that the XO laptops form OLPC operates on. Except its way more sophisticated and used not by students, but dissidents and foreign operatives.