Technology

In fight for free speech, researchers test anti-censorship tool built into the internet’s core

When the Chinese government wanted to keep its users off Facebook and Google, it blocked the entire country’s access to the US companies’ apps and sites. And when citizens started using third-party workarounds — like Tor, proxies and VPNs — to get around those blocks, it moved to quash those, too.

So a handful of researchers came up with a crazy idea: What if circumventing censorship didn’t rely on some app or service provider that would eventually get blocked but was built into the very core of the internet itself? What if the routers and servers that underpin the internet — infrastructure so important that it would be impractical to block — could also double as one big anti-censorship tool?

It turns out, the idea isn’t as crazy as it might seem. After six years in development, three research groups have joined forces to conduct real-world tests of an experimental new technique called refraction networking. They call their particular implementation TapDance, and it’s designed to sit within the internet’s core.

In partnership with two medium-sized US internet providers and the popular app Psiphon, they deployed TapDance for over a week this past spring to help more than 50,000 users around the world access the free and open internet — the first time such a test has been done outside the lab, and at such a large scale.

The researchers announced the test in a paper presented at the annual USENIX Security conference earlier this week.

In the long run, we absolutely do want to see refraction networking deployed at as many ISPs that are as deep in the network as possible, said David Robinson, one of the paper’s authors, and co-founder of the Washington-based tech policy consulting firm Upturn. We would love to be so deeply embedded in the core of the network that to block this tool of free communication would be cost-prohibitive for censors  — via CBC

Share this Story
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Stone / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Bluestone Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Brownstone Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Pebble Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Portland Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Ghost / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Abby Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Butterscotch Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Columbia Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Linen Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Retro / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Ashbury Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Mysterioso Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Parkside Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Passage Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Circle Stacked / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Rainbow Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Festive Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Ornament Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Terracotta Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Brunch / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Salmon Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Citrus Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Lemon Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Olive Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Ocean Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Stone / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Bluestone Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Brownstone Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Pebble Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Portland Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Sandstone Geometric ...
Load More Related Articles
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Stone / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Bluestone Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Brownstone Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Pebble Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Portland Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Ghost / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Abby Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Butterscotch Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Columbia Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Linen Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Retro / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Ashbury Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Mysterioso Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Parkside Geometric Pattern: Diamond Star: Passage Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Circle Stacked / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Rainbow Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Festive Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Ornament Geometric Pattern: Circle Nested: Terracotta Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Brunch / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Salmon Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Citrus Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Lemon Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Olive Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Ocean Geometric ...
  • Art

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Stone / Red Wolf

    Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Bluestone Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Brownstone Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Pebble Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Portland Geometric Pattern: Aperture: Sandstone Geometric ...
Load More By Red Wolf
Load More In Technology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photos from Flickr