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[liberationtech] firsthand circumvention technology usage

liberationtech at lewman.us liberationtech at lewman.us
Wed May 25 08:37:22 PDT 2011


On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 09:33:58PM -0400, liberationtech at lewman.us wrote 1.5K bytes in 33 lines about:
: If they don't know that people use circumvention tools in these
: countries, perhaps they shouldn't be writing the article.  The trick is,
: for two of those countries, the governments are hunting down anyone
: admitting to violating the censorship.  Libya doesn't have much internet
: access at the moment, so circumvention tool usage is lower than it was
: before the civil war.

A number of people have emailed me off-list to question my usage of the
words "hunting down".  I will retract that statement and replace it
with a more accurate statement.

We at Tor have been working with a number of individuals in or around
all three countries in this thread; Libya, Syria, and Iran.  They have
provided valuable data as to the technological sophistication of the
government censorship apparatus.  Much like Iran, Syria appears to be
able to now detect differences in SSL traffic crossing their wires.
This is deep packet inspection.  We are still researching the
capabilities of detection and what risks, if any, exist to people using
various technologies in country.

Going back to my roots as a research scientist, correlation does imply
causation.  A few individuals have recently been 'visited' and questioned
about their activities online. The individual attributes this to
providing data to outside organizations. However, it could be any
activity that got them on a radar of a government agent and worthy of a
visit.  Generally, these people helping outside orgs are very careful.

The phrase, 'hunting down', is hyperbole.  Perhaps 'being watched
closely' is a more accurate statement.

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't watching.

-- 
Andrew
pgp key: 0x74ED336B



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