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[liberationtech] Fwd: Haystack

Joshua Cohen jcohen57 at
Thu Aug 19 10:37:13 PDT 2010

I have been following this thread with HUGE interest, but very partial  
understanding. It is really important, and I am grateful to the  
participants. But I wonder if someone could take a few extra minutes  
to lay out the basics.

On Aug 19, 2010, at 8:31 PM, Jim Youll wrote:

> On Aug 19, 2010, at 6:42 AM, Mahmood Enayat wrote:
>> The big players of circumvention solutions, which have received  
>> less attention, are all available here: , Why  
>> Haystack is not available online like them?
> Cat and mouse can be played, yes.
> But this technology is looking more and more like merely a way for  
> privileged, warm, well-fed, free, safe Westerners to feel good about  
> themselves while putting already at-risk populations at even greater  
> risk of trouble.
> Laws, guns, and prisons trump technological finesse. Period. This is  
> not negotiable.
> Keep in mind that US companies providing equipment to Internet  
> providers are also providing access and monitoring capabilities in  
> that equipment... at full OC3 speeds...
> How many of the people known to have been arrested or silenced were  
> using, or thought they were using, some kind of 'safe' technology to  
> subvert both technological blockades and national laws? Until we  
> know that, should we be prescribing these cures to patients we've  
> never met and can't watch over?
> 2002:
> "...But Chinese surfers often use proxy servers - websites abroad  
> that let surfers reach blocked sites - to evade the Great Red  
> Firewall. Such techniques are routinely posted online or exchanged  
> in chat rooms. But China's 45 million internet users face  
> considerable penalties if they are found looking at banned sites.  
> According to human rights activists, dozens of people have been  
> arrested for their online activities on subversion charges."
> 	-
> 2006:
> ... Those attempting to access these banned sites are automatically  
> reported to the Public Security Bureau. Internet police in cities  
> such as Xi'an and Chongqing can reportedly trace the activities of  
> the users without their knowledge and monitor their online  
> activities by various technical means."
> 	-
> 2008:
> "...Around 30 journalists were known to be in prison and at least 50  
> individuals were in prison for posting their views on the internet.  
> People were often punished simply for accessing banned websites"
> 	-
> 2010:
> "... The ministry of public security said 5,394 people had been  
> arrested and that over 9,000 websites had been deleted for having  
> pornographic content. The ministry did not say how many people had  
> subsequently been put on trial. The authorities released the figures  
> with a warning that its policing of the internet would intensify in  
> 2010 in order to preserve 'state security'. China maintains strict  
> censorship of the internet in order to make sure that unhealthy  
> content, including criticism of the Communist Party, does not reach  
> a wide audience."
> 	-
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