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[liberationtech] VOA - Circumventing Censorship guide?

Katy Pearce katycarvt at
Mon Apr 13 15:44:33 PDT 2015

Great points Nick.
This is challenging. Up-to-date recommendations are hard to give as
services change. And, generally, these guides don't know their target --
are they trying to help a clueless novice user or an advanced user? Both
need help!

And what about translation?

I have yet to see a good solution to these issues.

On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 3:40 PM, Nicolas Sera-Leyva (
nseraleyva at INTERNEWS.ORG) <nseraleyva at> wrote:

> Hey y'all,
> I don't know with how much fanfare this was released, but came across the
> following circumvention tool resource from VOA that was released
> (possibly?) in late January -
> - "An internet primer for healthy web habits" offers overviews and a basic
> scorecard of a number of circumvention tools & practices, some BBG funded
> in one way or another and others not, but upon reading it noticed that it
> takes a number of worrisome factual & technological tacks.
> Offering up UltraSurf as an anonymity tool, closed source and offering
> security through obscurity, raises concern; as does a blanket claim that
> VPNs offer anonymity in all cases without really offering solid
> recommendations for services (paid or otherwise) that are generally
> regarded as trustworthy.
> The portion on using Google DNS as a circumvention method is a bit clumsy
> in its explanation of exactly *how* an end user might actually make use of
> Google's DNS lists to achieve that end, as are several instances that
> allude to verifying downloaded .exe files (e.g. the Freegate portion,
> presumably by performing checks on SHA/MD5 hash checksums)  without really
> discussing a practical means of doing so. Guide also doesn't really address
> situations where use of this technology could possibly cause a user's
> traffic patterns to draw more unwanted attention that they might have
> previously.
> Basically, the guide seems ripe for leading end-users to make ill-informed
> decisions on circumvention/anonymity tool use that could very possibly put
> them at greater risk than they were in the first place. I'd be curious re:
> other's thoughts on this resource and any other recommendations regarding
> content that could be changed or revised to provide more sound guidance?
> Cheers,
> Nick
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