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

Sahar Massachi Sahar at brandeis.edu
Tue Feb 25 13:47:26 PST 2014


For those of us who aren't hip to the latest developments in Psiphon or
circumvention - is there an easy primer as to how Psiphon works, and is
different from traditional VPN's?

The best I could find was this design document:
http://cdn.bitbucket.org/psiphon/psiphon-circumvention-system/downloads/DESIGN.pdf

Is there something less technical we could get our hands on as well?


On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 1:42 PM, Fereidoon Bashar <fereidoon at asl19.org>wrote:

> I would actually argue against that, at least with Iranian users, rely on
> one particular tool. From what we have seen from our many communications
> with users, they rely and use any number of tools they can get their hands
> on and their choice is dependent on which one works better on a given day.
> And their choice mainly centers around which one is faster.
>
> Here is one example of an Iranian Android user's list of tools
> https://twitter.com/2iitter/status/435499775971328001
>
> I don't think its an user education issue. Users are very quick at finding
> ways of going around censorship and have a lot of local resources (VPN
> sellers) to help them.  Based on my experience communicating with a lot of
> users, for many of them access is the first priority. But now that they
> have more options, faster and reliable access is what they care the most
> about, not security and privacy.
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Griffin Boyce <griffin at cryptolab.net>wrote:
>
>> Adam Pritchard wrote:
>>
>>> I would advise against getting too comfortable/confident/hubristic...
>>> One might not want to suggest that one is unblockable.
>>>
>>
>>   I like Tor a lot, but obviously nothing is "unblockable."  Iran's
>> targeting of Tor around the attempted revolution is but one data point --
>> every kind of circumvention tool is targeted by oppressive regimes.  What
>> is more {important|telling} is how well a software community can respond
>> and bounce back from various blocking events.
>>
>>   Part of the issue (as I see it) is that users tend to regard one
>> circumvention method as a panacea.  People rely on Tor or Lantern or
>> Psiphon or that really fast VPN on a weird port.  And then when their
>> method of choice gets blocked, they are forced to find a replacement.  This
>> feels like a user education issue.  Users need to know that there are
>> multiple options -- eg when Psiphon works but Lantern doesn't, or when Tor
>> with a bridge doesn't usually work, but with flashproxy does.  People need
>> to be prepared to pivot quickly.
>>
>> ~Griffin
>>
>> --
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>
>
>
> --
> Fereidoon Bashar
> fereidoon at asl19.org
> https://asl19.org/en
>
> -- PGP: BE4A 4A81 7A3E 5725 8591 05A2 2A3C 56D4 5450 F790 (key<https://asl19.org/keys/fereidoon.txt>
> )
>
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> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
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-- 
Sahar Massachi

c: (585) 313-6649
t: twitter.com/sayhar
w: saharmassachi.com
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