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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).
> Except of course, it goes through whomever your penpal is.
> Here's a summary of the early rollout 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
> 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...
> 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
> options we have for making mash-ups of these components. Otherwise it's
> just yet another brief flame with its big publicity push, no
> 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.
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> Shava Nerad
> shava23 at gmail.com <mailto:shava23 at gmail.com>
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