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[liberationtech] Many VPNs and Psiphon are currently blocked in Iran right now

Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes alps6085 at
Sun Feb 23 06:40:59 PST 2014

Right on the money, Nathan!

There was a time when the web browser was considered a "thin-client"
alternative to "fat client-server apps." Unfortunately, not anymore! But
there's hope on the mobile web, with its proliferation of apps with better
bandwidth-aware features.

On the other hand, the Tor web site is a bit too much "smoke and mirrors"
promoting it as a solution for the masses, when clearly it is not practical
for that use. Maybe Bill Gates gave them a course on "vaporware marketing!"
On Feb 23, 2014 8:30 AM, "Nathan of Guardian" <nathan at>

> On February 23, 2014 2:11:26 AM EST, Collin Anderson <
> collin at> wrote:
> >On Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 9:35 PM, Nathan of Guardian <
> >nathan at> wrote:
> >
> >> I just hope that the "Tor is slow" meme, along with
> >> other famous ones like "PGP is hard" and "No one cares about
> >privacy",
> >> are continued to be challenged, tested and not accepted as
> >inevitable.
> >>
> >
> >
> >Certainly, however, I am testing this meme now, and it has validity. I,
> >right now, pulled the latest version of Tor to a Linux machine in Iran
> >and
> >did a comparative measurement of throughput with and without. Although
> >the
> >download started out reasonably fast, after a few seconds it seems
> >probably
> >that my connection was throttled down. Whereas without Tor, my
> >throughput
> >averaged 84.81 Kbps, with it is currently 14.66 Kbps and rapidly
> >dropping.
> >If anyone doubts that Tor's overhead is that high, at some point I
> >could
> >keep tearing down connections and narrow the likelihood of a poorly
> >performing bridge. However, factually, Tor is slow.
> I just ran the same test with Psiphon3 and my throughout was 0.0kbps... (I
> joke!). I do appreciate your effort to add hard data to the thread.
> My point was not that Tor is not slow (it is, and generally 1/4 the
> bandwidth as your tests have shown), it is that the meme overrides any
> reality of possible usefulness, even when anonymity is not the user's goal.
> I was simply arguing for Orbot to be on the list of possible solutions that
> were being promoted, because especially on mobile, use of async apps that
> do their networking in the background mitigate the speed issues greatly.
> Here is my own direct data to share. On 9/11 in lower Manhattan, nearly
> all communications systems failed due to being taken out in the WTC
> collapse or overloaded by the mass amount of people trying to find each
> other. This included terrestrial internet links, again due to local routing
> through switching sites downtown and loss of power, etc. The only network
> that remained viable was Mobitex, a mobile pager data network that had been
> written off as too slow for the mobile web. Fortunately, RIM realized it
> was the perfect network for their early Blackberry devices, so long as they
> built their messaging system and other apps to mask the time it took for a
> message to send or be received. Web browsing on the early Blackberries was
> a joke, even with stripped down WAP sites.
> However, having a Blackberry (and a Palm VII also mobitex based) below
> 14th street on 9/11 meant that I was able to stay in touch with the small
> percentage of friends (.3% of new Yorkers perhaps?) who also had
> mobitex-based devices, I could still send and receive email, and that I
> became a source of information and coordination, while everyone else was
> disconnected and offline. (I also deployed a working WiFi mesh later that
> week, but that is for another thread!)
> If Tor is harder to block (which it is), more sustainable to operate
> (which it is), better for protecting users privacy from the operators
> (which it is), then my hope is that we see an increase in use among apps
> that are well designed for the type of network it is. That will only happen
> if those of use who see the value of Tor (or any circumvention service that
> prioritizes privacy above speed) make sure the apps are using it wisely.
> In this golden age of mobile messaging, may all app designers channel
> their own inner Blackberry for the benefit of all users!
> +n
> --
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