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[liberationtech] [SPAM:###] Re: [SPAM:###] Re: Google Unveils Tools to Access Web From Repressive Countries | TIME.com

Sacha van Geffen sacha at greenhost.nl
Tue Oct 22 07:22:04 PDT 2013


On 22-10-13 09:02, Shava Nerad wrote:
> uproxy.org <http://uproxy.org> -- it looks phenomenally like psiphon,
> actually. I got referred to this page through Amanda Walker from Google
> who says (carefully not speaking for anyone at Google) it's open source
> (eventually) developed by U Washington.  
> 
> Has anyone heard of this at all?  I pointed Ron Deibert at it -- I
> thought he'd find it fascinating if he hadn't heard about it. ;]
> 

It sounds more like Lantern to me... seeing the involvement of brave new
software and use of the google social graph.


> quoth Amanda:
> 
>     So, Google isn't "rolling out a proxy network".  uProxy was
>     developed at the University of Washington; they plan to release
>     source under the Apache 2 license (so you don't *have* to trust
>     anyone).  It's a peer to peer proxy system, not a centralized one
>     that goes through Google (or anyone else).
> 
> 
>     http://uproxy.org/
> 
> 
> Except of course, it goes through whomever your penpal is.
> 
> Here's a summary of the early rollout of Psiphon:
>  http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2007/01/31/ron-deibert-on-the-history-and-future-of-psiphon/
> (I was at this talk ;)  
> 
> Hugely popular was 80,000 users, and there were growing pains then and
> thereafter (this is not a criticism -- it's expected).  Will Google be
> happy with their announcement when users freak at people proxying KP
> through their penpal invites?  Because inevitably, people will want to
> adopt activists from overseas and some will be not quite what they expect.
> 
> Will League of Legends-like matchmaking lobbies emerge to broker
> connections, rather much defeating the personal friend aspect for the
> less clueful?  And who will um take advantage?  Will penpals in the US
> report back to Teheran for example?  I mean, I'm likely preaching to the
> crowd, right?
> 
> But Jared Cohen and Eric Schmidt's book reads like a post ironic
> Innocents Abroad.  It opens with the bald statement that the Internet is
> one of the few things humans have created that they do not fully
> understand.  
> 
> If you reduce "things" to generalizations such as "religion,"
> "government," "community," "war," and so on, I suppose they may be
> right.  We have not fully come to grips with the Internet as a special
> case of "mass media," and we can not possibly come to a comprehensive
> consensus on that.  The subject matter changes faster than any consensus
> could be expressed/reached -- to the universal relief of bloggers, and
> of academics seeking publication and junkets to conferences.
> 
> These are the people who are, with great sanguine big-dog enthusiasm,
> pushing this out.  I wish I felt confident we could keep the tail
> wagging from breaking the tea service.  Could be fine.  Makes me
> nervous.  Just sayin...
> 
> You don't have to distrust Google per se to wonder if they are wise, or
> have domain expertise in all things.  
> 
> Being big and rich does not buy you wisdom to know what you don't know.
>  This is a lesson of empire/monarchy, even benevolent empire, even
> benevolent monarchy -- it relies on the discretion of one entity, one
> ego and often the people around that entity will not or can not get a
> word in to say, "No. Just no." 
> 
> Carnegie knew all about libraries, but he didn't know so much about
> maintaining earthen dams
> (http://www.jaha.org/FloodMuseum/clubanddam.html)  You can't know
> everything.  People can still die.
> 
> So there are my late night ponderings...
> 
> yrs,
> 
> 
> On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 1:36 AM, Roger Dingledine <arma at mit.edu
> <mailto:arma at mit.edu>> wrote:
> 
>     On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 10:25:48AM -0700, Yosem Companys wrote:
>     > The most ambitious product launch is uProxy, a new Web browser
>     > extension that uses peer-to-peer technology to let people around the
>     > world provide each other with a trusted Internet connection.
> 
>     It's a shame that designs like this still blur the line so much between
>     "censorship-resistant transport" and "proxy back-end."
> 
>     If these folks have a cool "we use xmpp through google's servers to
>     reach the proxy" transport, wouldn't it be even better if they publish
>     that part, in a modular way, so other tools (like vpn providers, or Tor)
>     can reuse that transport if they want to get its properties?
> 
>     And in the other direction, if their users want some more security
>     properties on the proxy side, wouldn't it be better if their volunteers
>     could choose to glue this transport onto some other back-end (like vpn
>     providers, or Tor)?
> 
>     We've been making great progress lately in the academic world at having
>     researchers split the problem so the transport can focus on being
>     hard to
>     block and then the proxy side can focus on providing whatever security
>     properties it wants. In the Tor world we call it pluggable transports,
>     but the engineers here will recognize the term 'modularity'.
> 
>     > ?It?s completely encrypted and there?s
>     > no way for the government to detect what?s happening because it just
>     > looks like voice traffic or chat traffic.
> 
>     Can somebody remind me of the State Dept quote, long ago, about
>     Haystack? That was a different guy though right? And surely this time
>     they're doing it right, with a comprehensive design document and threat
>     model, open source, etc before the publicity splash?
> 
>     To aim for a more productive tone, I'd like to echo what Eric said
>     but with a crucially different slant: the more *reuable and testable
>     components*, the merrier. The key is to grow the space in terms of
>     how we
>     understand what works, what doesn't work anymore (or never did), and
>     what
>     options we have for making mash-ups of these components. Otherwise it's
>     just yet another brief flame with its big publicity push, no
>     well-written
>     code behind it, no change to our understanding of how to solve the
>     problem / what problems to solve, and no re-usable parts left behind.
> 
>     --Roger
> 
>     --
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> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> Shava Nerad
> shava23 at gmail.com <mailto:shava23 at gmail.com>
> 
> 


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